More men have walked on the moon than have played Ronald McDonald. Meet Joe Maggard, the longest tenured actor to portray Ronald McDonald, the official McDonald’s mascot. Maggard played the role from 1995-2007 but says he says his retirement in 2007 was “misleading because he’s still serving.”
It’s a calling. It’s a profession. And I’m very proud of it. I’m proud of his heritage. I’m proud of what he stands for.
Prior to selling burgers to the world, Maggard was a deputy sheriff in North Carolina. While he was working in law enforcement he started acting at Thalian Hall and appeared in over 20 theater productions. He even had small roles in TV movies.
Maggard was hired to play Ronald McDonald for the commercials, but his portrayal of Ronald extended to The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald video shorts in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Maggard distinguishes the character from himself and while he is in character, believes he is Ronald instead of Joe.
Even though Maggard is technically retired, if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might be lucky enough to spot him as Ronald McDonald. Just be sure to give him a high five.