Wendy Williams Mourns Death of Her Mom Shirley on Her Talk Show

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Television host, actress, author, fashion designer, and former radio personality, Wendy Williams, Shirley Williams and Thomas Williams Sr. visit The Empire State Building on September 18, 2017 in New York City.
Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic

Rest in peace, Shirley Skinner Williams. Wendy Williams' mom has died, the 56-year-old host shared on Monday's episode of The Wendy Williams Show

The host entered the show wearing a black dress with a high slit, an outfit that was in tribute to her mom.

"In the name of my mother, because my mother, she's like, 'Wendy, you got them, they're long, you should show 'em,'" Wendy recalled her mother telling her of her legs. "She also talked me into picking out this outfit today."

"She also died," Wendy continued. "My mom passed away many, many, many, many weeks ago... All I know is that it was a long time ago... She'll always be here. She's squawking at me right now." 

According to Wendy, her mother "passed away beautiful and peacefully and surrounded by love" and "didn't suffer, not one bit."

Wendy continued her tribute by speaking about her relationship with her mother, which, she said, "became closer and closer once I went away to college, [and] could escape Jersey." 

"Our relationship was like that of two teenage girls. If I could pick an age, 17... My relationship with my mother, right up until the end, was so girly and so ridiculously giggly," Wendy shared. "... We'd do our nails together... and then we'd watch Housewives or American Greed on TV together... We'd watch a Hallmark movie. I'm not into [that], but I would humor her."

"[We'd watch] the old Frosty the SnowmanCharlie Brown, we'd watch all that kind of stuff. She was like, 'Wendy, this is what you used to watch when you were young.' I was like, 'Ma, that's 'cause it was your household and you made us. I didn't want to watch that,'" she continued. "Sometimes we'd be on the phone for so long that'd we'd literally fall asleep with the phones [at our ears]."

Despite her grief, Wendy said she's striving to "be strong" for her 20-year-old son, Kevin.

"This is his first death. He does not know death. He's 20... He doesn't know this in his life, so if I get on the phone breaking down... then he's going to be worried about me," she said, before offering one final tribute to her late mom.

"Gone is the best mother, the best girlfriend, that a girl could ever have," she said. "I feel fortunate that I had her in my life all of my 56 years."

Shirley pursued a career in education, and worked as a learning disabilities resource specialist at the Bradley School in Asbury Park, New Jersey. She raised Wendy and her two siblings, Wanda and Thomas, in Ocean Township, New Jersey. 

A 1988 profile of Shirley in the Asbury Park Press praised her as a civic leader and someone who made a real impact on her community. She served in organizations like the Monmouth County Council of Girl Scouts and the Central Jersey Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. She was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. 

Fans of the Wendy Williams Show likely saw Shirley on screen. She filled in as a co-host in the past, and was also seen sitting in the audience on several occasions. 

See more on stars we've recently lost in the video below. 

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