Ronald McDonald

clown mascot of McDonald's hamburger chain store

Ronald McDonald is an American clown character who is a mascot of the McDonald's fast-food restaurant. He wears yellow and red stripes and has wacky hair. He lives in McDonaldland, with lots of his friends. The first actor to play Ronald McDonald was famous weatherman and Bozo the Clown actor Willard Scott. Later the actor for Coco the Clown, Michael Polakovs, redesigned Ronald McDonald's outfit and make-up, which is the version still used by today's Ronald McDonald actors.[1] The fictional character is a heroic magical adventurer that stands up good and freedom, such as saving the rain forest and supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities.[2]

Ronald McDonald



McDonald's has many actors employed to portray Ronald McDonald in restaurants and events. It is assumed, however, that the company uses only one actor at a time to play the character in television commercials.

This is a list of these main actors:

1963 commercial with Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald

An actor by the name of Joe Maggard stated in an interview of The Guardian in 2014 that he portrayed the Ronald McDonald character from 1995 to 2007. However, It was stated in a 2003 article by The Baltimore Sun that Maggard was only a stand-in actor for one commercial shoot in the mid 90s and stated that "he is definitely not Ronald McDonald", as Jack Doepke and David Hussey were the real current portrayers as Ronald throughout the time period Joe claimed he did. In 1998, he was charged of carrying a weapon in the New Hanover County, N.C., McDonalds and the next year he was convicted in making harassing telephone calls posing as Ronald. The judge ordered him to take anger management classes.[4][5]


  1. Obituary in The Daily Telegraph, 16 December 2009, p.33
  2. McDonald's Says Ronald Is Here to Stay,, archived from the original on November 11, 2011, retrieved June 4, 2022
  3. Province, Ben (October 19, 2011). "MBU Runs for Ronald". Malibu Times. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  4. "'Ronald' Is a Touching Interview with an Actor Who Played Ronald McDonald for 12 Years". Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  5. "McDonald's plans a Ronald revival". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2017.