She’s helped generations of children grow up and she’s met many a Muppet in her day. But after 44 years playing human Sesame Street resident Maria, actress Sonia Manzano is retiring.
Manzano, 65, made the announcement on Tuesday during an address at the American Library Association Annual Conference. She has since fielded an outpouring of grief from fans.
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Manzano joined the show in 1971, and also began writing for the show and has since won 15 Daytime Emmy Awards as part of the show’s writing staff. She was also nominated twice for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. In 2004, she published a children’s book, No Dogs Allowed.