Subscribe

'Sesame Street' actress will leave the show after more than 40 years

Sad news brought to you today by the letter M: the actress Sonia Manzano, who portrays the 'Sesame Street' character Maria, will be leaving the show after having served for over 40 years as an actress and writer on the program. 

  • close
    'Sesame Street' airs on PBS.
    V-me/Business Wire
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Actress Sonia Manzano, known to generations of children as “Sesame Street” personality Maria, is reportedly retiring. 

According to the Washington Post, Manzano is leaving the show and will not appear on the upcoming season of the long-running children’s program. 

She appeared on “Sesame” for 44 years, beginning in 1971, and also served as a writer on the show. According to her official website, Manzano also wrote for the children’s show “Little Bill,” which aired on the children’s TV block Nick Jr. on Nickelodeon.

Recommended: The 20 best TV sitcoms of all time – readers' choice

Manzano, whose parents are from Puerto Rico, recalled in an interview with CBS News how she felt how she wasn’t represented on TV prior to acting on “Sesame.”

“I'm Puerto Rican, born in New York, watched a lot of television in the fifties, never saw anybody who looked like me on television,” she said. “If you're not reflected in society, you feel invisible. And I wondered, how was I going to contribute to a society that didn't see me?” “Sesame” was heralded for its diverse cast, which included Manzano’s onscreen husband, portrayed by Emilio Delgado, and actors Loretta Long and Matt Robinson.

“Sesame Street,” which debuted in 1969 and airs on PBS, has become a TV classic and its Muppet characters, including Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and Elmo, who has gotten his own spin-off programs, have become icons recognized worldwide.

As noted by the History Channel, the program was originally targeted at underprivileged kids so they could be on an even keel with their peers when they reached kindergarten. The show has since been on TV in more than 120 countries and is still producing new episodes every year. A recent study by Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland and Wellesley College’s Phillip Levine discovered that watching the show can have as much value for children in some ways as attending preschool. 

In addition, for a show that’s been on the air since 1969, the program is far from behind the times. Parents have been no doubt delighted to see such recent parodies on “Sesame” as skits poking fun at “House of Cards,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Game of Thrones.”

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK