TV personality Betty Kennedy dead at 91

OTTAWA — Betty Kennedy, once one of Canada’s best-known television personalities, has died. She was 91.

The veteran journalist and broadcaster was for decades one of the country’s most recognized voices and faces.

For 27 years, she hosted the Betty Kennedy Show on Toronto’s CFRB radio, where she is credited with interviewing some 25,000 guests, from former prime minister Pierre Trudeau to actress Debbie Reynolds.

And for 33 years, she was the lone female panellist on CBC’s Front Page Challenge.

Kennedy was inducted into both the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Canadian News Hall of Fame and was named an officer of the Order of Canada.

She also served a brief stint as a senator, appointed to Canada’s upper house by then-prime minister Jean Chretien in June 2000. She retired in January 2001 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

She wrote two books: Gerhard: A Love Story, about her first husband who died in 1975, and Hurricane Hazel.

She married G. Allan Burton, head of Simpsons department stores, in 1976. He died in 2003.

Kennedy is survived by sons Mark, Shawn and D’Arcy Kennedy and daughter Tracy Brown.

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