‘Ronald’ Is a Touching Interview with an Actor Who Played Ronald McDonald for 12 Years

By Mike Pomranz |

Did you know that fewer people know what it’s like to be Ronald McDonald than what it’s like to be President of the United States? It’s true. Only nine people in history have played McDonald’s Chief Happiness Officer.  For twelve years, from 1995 to 2007, Joe Maggard was one of those men.

According to his IMDB page, early on in his life he served as a Deputy Sheriff with the Brunswick County North Carolina Sheriff’s Department before getting into acting, eventually landing bit parts in movies and TV shows like Matlock.  His first taste of being the iconic clown came as a double for the previous actor who played Ronald, but then fate stepped in: The other Ronald was ill and Maggard had to take over. As they say in the business, the fast food pushing must go on.

“Ronald” is a six-and-a-half-minute short produced by The Guardian that allowed Maggard to revisit his role as Ronald McDonald – though Maggard says you never really stop being Ronald. 

The video is quite touching and funny and beautifully shot.  It also serves as a dramatic and in-your-face reminder about how McDonald’s touches all of our lives – some more than others. 

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