Sesame Street paid tribute to the cast of Bob McGrath, who was a “beloved member” of the show for more than 50 years, following his death at the age of 90.
The children’s actor, musician, and author, who became known as one of the first non-Muppet regulars on a U.S. children’s show, has passed away peacefully at home, with his family. he confirmed.
A statement shared on his official Facebook said: “The McGrath family has some sad news to share. Our father, Bob McGrath, passed away today. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.”
McGrath was a founding member when Sesame Street premiered in 1969, playing Bob Johnson, a friendly neighbor whose puppet characters include Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Grover and Elmo.
He last appeared in 2017, marking a career spanning nearly five decades in the Sesame Street world.
A statement from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the program, said: “Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of Bob McGrath, a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 50 years.
“As a founding member, Bob sings Sesame Street tunes like no other, and his performance has brought joy and amazement to generations of children around the world, though Is it teaching them the alphabet, the people of the neighborhood or the simple joy of feeling the music in their hearts.
“As a globally respected performer, Bob’s rich tenor has filled waves and concert halls from Las Vegas to Saskatchewan to Tokyo many times over.
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“We will be forever grateful for his passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street over the years and honored that he shared so much of his life with us.”
McGrath, who grew up in Illinois and studied music at the University of Michigan, was also a singer on the ’60s series Sing Along With Mitch and had a successful music career in Japan.
US actress Holly Robinson Peete, daughter of Sesame Street actor and producer Matt Robinson, also shared her tribute to McGrath on social media.
She said: “This news broke me! I first met Bob McGrath in 1969 when my father and he co-starred in #SesameStreet. He’s the guy you’ve seen on TV.
“The best, sweetest, kindest man. The first time my brother and I went to Sesame Street, we had this scene with him. Rest in peace, Bob McGrath. You have been loved all over the world.
McGrath is survived by his wife, Ann Logan Sperry, and their five children.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/sesame-street-original-cast-member-bob-mcgrath-dies-aged-90-42195460.html Original Sesame Street member Bob McGrath dies aged 90