MANILA, Philippines – Mexican-American actor Emilio Delgado – known for his role as Luis Rodriguez, a fix-it shop owner in the hit Sesame Street series – passed away on Thursday, March 10, two years since being diagnosed with blood cancer multiple myeloma. He was 81.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, confirmed Delgado’s passing in a statement posted on Facebook on March 11.
“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 humor invited children to share a friendship that has echoed through generations” Sesame Workshop statement reads.
“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,” they said.
Joining the cast in 1971 on Sesame Street‘s third season, Delgado played Luis Rodriguez until 2016. Besides being a fix-it shop owner, his character Luis was also married to Maria, played by Sonia Manzano.
Audiences of all ages not only enjoyed his joy and charisma on the children’s television series, but also saw his warmth and charm on two other Sesame Street feature films, as well as many live appearances.
In 2009, Delgado and the cast of Sesame Street received the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for the show’s 40 years on air.
According to TMZ, Delgado continued to work as an actor until the pandemic; he was the lead in a three-city run of the theater production Quixote Nuevo and did voiceover work until January 2022. – with reports from Edmar delos Santos/Rappler.com
Edmar delos Santos is a Rappler intern