'Won't You Be My Neighbor' trailer reveals 'radical' Mister Rogers

PHOTO: A portrait of childrens television personality Fred Rogers posing with a toy trolley on the set of his public television show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood. PlayFotos International/Getty Images
WATCH Trailer: 'Won't You Be My Neighbor'

The first trailer for the upcoming documentary about the late, great Mister Rogers was released this week and features a "radical" host who became an unlikely star.

The film, "Won't You Be My Neighbor," takes an in-depth look at Fred Rogers, the man who would become an icon for generations of children. Fred Rogers died at the age of 74 in 2003.

PHOTO: President Bush, right, prepares to place the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Fred Rogers, left, star of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, a childrens show which is the longest running program on public television. This ceremony was held July 9, 2002.Kenneth Lambert/AP Photo, FILE
President Bush, right, prepares to place the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Fred Rogers, left, star of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood," a children's show which is the longest running program on public television. This ceremony was held July 9, 2002.

PHOTO: A sweater knitted by his mother and once belonging to Fred Rogers, star of PBS show Mister Rogers Neighborhood, is seen among other items in the vaults at the Smithsonians American History Museum July 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
A sweater knitted by his mother and once belonging to Fred Rogers, star of PBS show 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood', is seen among other items in the vaults at the Smithsonian's American History Museum July 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.

With past clips and interviews from former producers and stars of the program, the documentary reveals why he was so different and even controversial at the time, covering death, racism, divorce and more in a way that children could digest and learn from for decades.

"He was radical, I know everyone says that, but he was radical!" says Elizabeth Seamans, who played Mrs. McFeely on the show.

Francois Clemmons, a legendary black actor, singer and playwright, was another staple in the show's long run and is also featured in the film.

"They didn't want black people to come and swim in their swimming pools," he says about the cultural shift going on in the 60s and 70s. "My being on the program was a statement for Fred."

PHOTO: Fred Rogers, star of his PBS show Mister Rogers Neighborhood rehearses during a taping in Pittsburgh, Pa., June 28, 1989. Gene J. Puskar/ AP Photo, FILE
Fred Rogers, star of his PBS show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" rehearses during a taping in Pittsburgh, Pa., June 28, 1989.

"Won't You Be My Neighbor" is out in select theaters on June 8.

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