"Today" Brings Together Present and Past Anchors to Celebrate 60th Birthday

From Hugh Downs to Deborah Norville, it was a Who's Who of "Today" show history.

By Eric Alt
|  Friday, Jan 13, 2012  |  Updated 9:59 AM CDT
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Relive moments from the

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Relive moments from the "Today" show's 60 years on television.

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To mark the show's 60th anniversary, "Today" gathered together a Who's Who of anchors past.

Following an opening skit filmed in black and white with extras dressed in 1950s period costume (to mark the news show's 1952 debut), current hosts Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Ann Curry, and Natalie Morales welcomed back all the personalities who made "Today" what it is, well, today.

Hugh Downs, age 90, who hosted the show from 1962 to 1971, headed up the gathering, which also included Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, Jim Hartz, Jane Pauley, Bryant Gumbel, Willard Scott, Deborah Norville, Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, Kathie Lee Gifford, Savannah Guthrie, and Hoda Kotb.

"We have more anchors than the Sixth Fleet," joked Curry, as the group gathered in Studio 1A.

The former anchors each had a chance to reminisce about the big stories that unfolded during their individual tenures, and they each took the opportunity to credit original anchor Dave Garroway.

"I admired that his approach was so easy going and so ab-libbed, literally. It was so new then," said Downs. "Garroway was a model."

The event was capped off by a surprise visit from Tom Hanks, who brought out champagne and a cake.

"The only reason I pushed out the cake was that the trainer didn't have enough time with J. Fred Muggs," quipped Hanks, referencing "Today's" chimpanzee mascot, who appeared on air from 1953 to 1957.

More earnest sentiments were expressed by President Obama and the First Lady, who paid tribute to the show via video message.

 

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