‘Sesame Street’ Actress Sonia Manzano Will Retire From The Show After 44 Years

After more than four decades, one of Sesame Street‘s most lovable non-Muppet residents is moving on. Commence tears…

Actress Sonia Manzano, who has played the role of Maria Figueroa-Rodriguez for the past 44 years, recently announced at the American Library Association Annual Conference that she will be retiring from the show. Manzano joined the cast of Sesame Street in 1971 but didn’t become a series regular until three years later. On the show, her character runs the Fix-It Shop with her adoring husband Luis (Emilio Delgado, who has also been a cast member since 1971).

During her time on the Street, Manzano was nominated twice for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series, but she never won. However she did go on to win 15 Emmys as part of the show’s writing staff. She has written several acclaimed children’s books, performed in The Vagina Monologues on the New York stage, and was inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame in 2004.

Like millions of children around the world, I grew up watching Sesame Street. It was a huge part of my childhood and it warms my heart that it is still on the air after all these years. The show will still go on without Sonia Manzano, but one thing’s for sure: the Street won’t be quite the same with Maria gone. What’s that they say about all good things?

Manzano’s memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx will be released by Scholastic Press on August 25, 2015.

[Source: A.V. Club]

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