11 March 2022

Emilio Delgado dead: Sesame Street star who played Luis dies aged 81 after cancer battle

11 March 2022

Sesame Street star Emilio Delgado who played Luis in the long-running children’s TV show has died aged 81 following a battle with cancer.

His wife Carole Delgado confirmed that he passed away on Thursday surrounded by his family at his New York home.

He was previously under the care of a hospice before returning home shortly before his passing.

She told US news outlet TMZ that he had been diagnosed with blood cancer Multiple Myeloma in December 2020 and was still working as a voiceover actor until his final weeks.

He appeared in a number of TV shows over the years including Lou Grant, Quincy M.E., Falcon Crest, The Bravest Knight, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and House of Cards.

His most famous role however was playing Fix-It store owner Luis for over four decades on Sesame Street, which he originally joined in 1971 during its third series.

His character married the show’s other prominent Latin star, Maria Figueroa, played by Sonia Manzano, in a ceremony on the show in 1988. The following year their characters welcomed a daughter called Gabi on the show.

He took a brief hiatus from the programme that same year before returning to the show, where he remained until 2016.

The actor continued appearing with the cast at public events after his departure and returned for Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2019.

Sharing a tribute on social media, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, said: “Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of Emilio Delgado, known the world over for his role as Luis on Sesame Street.

“A beloved member of the Sesame family for over 50 years, his warmth and humour invited children to share a friendship that has echoed through generations.

“At the forefront of representation, Emilio proudly laid claim to the ‘record for the longest-running role for a Mexican-American in a TV series’.

“We are so grateful he shared his talents with us and with the world,” it concluded.

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