David Letterman's mom, who became unlikely star, dies at 95

David Letterman feared he would lose his family after admitting to sleeping with women on his staff

She was small, soft-spoken and silver-haired.

Dorothy Mengering, the mother of late night television host David Letterman, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 95. Over the years, Mengering became a beloved fixture of her son's legacy in late night, beginning with her phone calls to Dave on NBC's Late Night. She also made regular appearances before Thanksgiving and Mother's Day, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Part of the reason it all worked is because she didn't put on airs.

In TV lexicon, she was a "fish out of water" at the Olympics, a person thrust into an awkward or foreign setting for comedy.

It's clear just how much Mengering adored her son, with her once praising him for his "good sense of humour" to The New York Times. "But, I was surprised that people took to it", Letterman said.

In the process, she became something of an everymom. Those, and of course her famous pies.

In case you forgot, since the Midwestern homemaker was an excellent baker, Dorothy rose to popularity through a cooking bit playfully known as Guess Mom's Pies. Sales of the book went to Kiwanis' International efforts to end iodine deficiency in children in third-world countries. Once he'd regained his composure, he got back to joshing her: "O.K., Mom, we'll just keep rolling here".

Stephen Colbert, who succeeded Letterman as host of the "Late Show", tweeted out his condolences on Tuesday.

Mengering entered the public eye by making frequent appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman", including as a correspondent for the 1994 winter Olympic games in Lillehammer, Norway.

Her local paper, the Indianapolis Star, said Dorothy Marie Hofert, born July 18, 1921, in Linton, Indiana, took business courses at Indiana University.