‘Maria’ retiring from Sesame Street after 44 years as children’s icon

Sesame StreetBy Lynn R. Mitchell

My children grew up with Sesame Street. When they were toddlers, we enjoyed the “hard-working dog” clip, the “one of these things is not like the others” matching game, and laughed at the interaction of the friendships between humans and Jim Henson’s Muppets. For those very earliest years of their lives, Sesame Street nudged little brains into action in a delightfully light-hearted way.

The award-winning long-running show has been on-air for 46 years. Now comes news that Sesame Street shop owner “Maria” is retiring after 44 years of playing the same character that generations of children have grown to know throughout the years (see Maria, surely the most-loved person on TV, is leaving ‘Sesame Street’):

[Sonia] Manzano joined the “Sesame Street” cast in 1971, playing a teenage Maria, who worked in a second-hand bookstore. By 1974, she was a regular, soon acting alongside her TV husband, Luis, who was played by Emilio Delgado. She joined other minorities on the show, including Matt Robinson and Loretta Long (who played Gordon and Susan) and Will Lee (who played Jewish store owner Mr. Hooper).

Best wishes to Ms. Manzano as she enjoys retirement and, more than likely, will continue to be recognized by countless children who remember Maria from their Sesame Street days.

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