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Emilio Delgado, ‘Sesame Street’s Luis, Dies at 81

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A man who brought joy to generations of children has died. Emilio Delgado, who played Luis the handyman on Sesame Street for over 40 years, has died. Delgado was 81 years old — meaning he spent half his life entertaining and education kids on Sesame Street.

Delgado’s wife Carol told TMZ that he passed away on Thursday “surrounded by family at his home in NYC.” He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a kind of blood cancer, in December of 2020.

Born in California and largely raised in Mexico, Delgado got into acting in the late 1960s. He joined the cast of Sesame Street in 1971 as one of the first new additions to the original cast. Luis ran the Fix-It Shop on Sesame Street, and while Delgado only thought the role would last for a couple of years, he wound up spending the next 40+ years hanging out with Big Bird, Oscar, and the rest of the Sesame Street crew.

In the finale of Season 19, Luis married another longtime Sesame Street character, Maria (Sonia Manzano), in an episode that became a very famous moment on the show.

 

Beyond his skills as an actor, Delgado also had a lovely singing voice, which he used in many memorable Sesame Street moments like this one.

Delgado’s role on Sesame Street ended in 2016, but he remained an ambassador for the show and the Children’s Television Workshop into his final years. Just about any child born in America in the last half century grew up watching Delgado on their television; a lot of those kids grew up to be parents too, and then they watched the show with their kids. Through the years, Delgado was one of those dependable, lovable presences they found still hanging out on Sesame Street. With many classic episodes now available on YouTube and HBO Max, even more generations will get to appreciate and enjoy his timeless work.

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