South Florida's first female news anchor, Molly Turner, dies at 93

Turner began career in 1951 on 'Uncle Martin Show'

By Laurie Jennings - Anchor

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Local 10 News is saying goodbye to one of its own -- South Florida's first female news anchor, Molly Turner.

Turner died Thursday at the age of 93 at an assisted living facility in New Jersey, where her daughter resides.

Most of South Florida knows her as Local 10's consumer reporter, the area's first female news anchor and the first lady of South Florida television.

Turner's career began in 1951, when she became "Cousin Effy" on the "Uncle Martin Show." She played a country music singer and comedienne with flaming red hair, a freckled face and blacked-out teeth.

Cousin Effy then became Miss Molly.

When the Post-Newsweek Corp. bought Local 10 in 1969, Turner marched boldly where no woman had gone before.

She became the first female TV reporter, blazing the trail for many of today's female broadcast journalists.

The late Ann Bishop, a South Florida news legend, credited Turner with opening doors for her.

While blazing that trail, Turner still found time for her husband, Phil, her daughter, Lyle, and son, Chris Ruppenthal.

In her 37-year television career, Turner became the best consumer reporter in the business.

She had a way of shaming those doing wrong into doing right, and sometimes they didn't even realize what happened.

Turner did it with integrity, mixed with the right dose of charm. Back when it wasn't popular, Turner proved that women didn't have to act like men to become the best in the business world. They could be tough and a lady.

Turner retired from Local 10 News in 1988. She returned to the station in 2003 to celebrate her 80th birthday.

In June 2007, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen paid a special visit to Turner at the Palace Nursing Home in Miami to present the television pioneer with a flag that was flown over the nation's capitol.

Turner is survived by her daughter and son.

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