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For anyone who has watched NBC’s Today Show, Linny Boyette was a welcome sight. For almost 20 years, the superfan has stood outside during the broadcasts, but he will no longer be there. Boyette died on Sunday following a heart attack at age 71.
“We actually get more viewer mail about Linny than any of our on-air team,” Today’s Natalie Morales said. “And we understand because we love Linny too and we're certainly going to miss him."
After the news was announced, several Today personalities took to Twitter to pay their respects. Boyette and many of the anchors became friends and he was very close to Meredith Vieira. When she announced her departure in 2011, she stood right next to him to get his view of the show. And when she returned in April 2012, she held a sign that read, "Forget Matt! Here for Linny” and she took him into the studio.
USA Today reports that Boyette was born in England and served in the military. He lived in the Bronx and he made sure he got his spot by arriving at Rockefeller Center at 5:30 a.m. He would often chat with other fans and read the newspaper before the show started at 7 a.m.
"It's something to do every morning. It makes my day,” he said during a Today interview in 2010.
So saddened to hear of Linny's passing. I always loved seeing him every morning on the plaza. He had a wonderful smile and so sweet.
— Meredith Vieira (@meredithvieira) October 7, 2013
Peace Linny. And thank you for your gentle kindness.
— Matt Lauer (@MLauer) October 7, 2013
Our dear friend, Linny, passed away this weekend. He will be missed. Greatest Today fan ever. Our thoughts and prayers with Linny and family
— Al Roker (@alroker) October 7, 2013
image: screenshot from NBC video