Mourning the passing of Nerene Virgin, beloved TVO children’s entertainer

Nerene Virgin

It is with great sadness we mourn the passing of Nerene Virgin, beloved children’s entertainer of the famed TVO show Today’s Special.

Nerene played the iconic role of Jodie on Today’s Special, which ran from 1981-1987. Today’s Special was an internationally acclaimed series that Nerene called her “most cherished and important professional experience”.  Nerene achieved remarkable success, captivating audiences with her versatile performances that showcased both depth and authenticity. She has left an indelible mark on many who grew up watching the show and on everyone she encountered and who had the privilege of working with her. Nerene also hosted several episodes of the TVOkids classic Polkadot Door in 1980.

Nerene was a trailblazer in many rights, especially at a time when she was one of few Black women on Canadian television. In addition to her work in acting, she was a journalist, social justice advocate, politician, and activist who dedicated much of her time to championing representation and diversity in many areas including the school curriculum in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.  

Nerene leaves behind an incredible legacy and will no doubt forever have a place in the hearts of the many who grew up watching her on TV.  Today’s Special was magic, and Nerene was a big part of why it resonated so well with kids and parents alike.

TVO would like to extend our sympathies and condolences to Nerene’s family and loved ones. She will be deeply missed by TVO and the people of Ontario.

TVO Media Education Group (TVO)

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TVO Media Education Group inspires learning that changes lives and enriches communities. Founded in 1970, we are a globally recognized digital learning organization that engages Ontarians of all ages with inclusive experiences and diverse perspectives. Through video, audio, games, courses, newsletters and articles, we’re investing in the transformative potential of education for everyone. Funded primarily by the Province of Ontario, TVO is a registered charity supported by thousands of sponsors and donors. Visit for more information. Stream TVO on your favourite device.

Media contact: Genevieve Grant, TVO |