Margaret "Marge" Groening, the mother of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and inspiration for the show's blue-haired matriarch, has died in her sleep at age 94, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The obituary first appeared in The Oregonian newspaper.
Groening was born Margaret Wiggum, and married her high school classmate Homer Groening, whom she reportedly chose "because he made her laugh the most," similar to the beloved couple at the center of "The Simpsons." She taught high school English before becoming a mother, while husband Homer was a cartoonist and filmmaker, as well as a World War II veteran, who died in 1996.
Son Matt clearly drew inspiration for the wildly successful franchise from not just his parents, but from brother Matt and sisters Lisa, Maggie and Patty, who died in January 2013.
In an interview with the Smithsonian Magazine on the origin of the series, Matt Groening admitted that when he came up with the concept for "The Simpsons" for a "Tracey Ullman Show" pitch meeting, "I basically drew my own family. My father’s name is Homer. My mother’s name is Margaret. I have a sister Lisa and another sister Maggie, so I drew all of them. I was going to name the main character Matt, but I didn’t think it would go over well in a pitch meeting, so I changed the name to Bart ... Back in high school I wrote a novel about a character named Bart Simpson. I thought it was a very unusual name for a kid at the time. I had this idea of an angry father yelling “Bart,” and Bart sounds kind of like bark -- like a barking dog. I thought it would sound funny. In my novel, Bart was the son of Homer Simpson ... Since Homer was my father’s name, and I thought Simpson was a funny name in that it had the word “simp” in it, which is short for “simpleton” -- I just went with it."
"The Simpsons" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.