Emilio Delgado, Longtime 'Sesame Street' Actor, Dead at 81

Emilio Delgado
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The beloved 'Sesame Street' star died on Thursday in New York City.

Emilio Delgado, best known for his beloved portrayal of fix-it shop owner Luis Rodriguez on Sesame Street, has died. He was 81.

Delgado died on Thursday in New York City, his agent, Renee Glicker, confirmed to ET.

"Emilio Delgado passed away at his home here in NYC today. He had multiple Myeloma," Glicker shared in a statement to ET. "His wife Carole was his biggest fan and advocate. She traveled with him when he recently did a theater tour of Quixote Nuevo playing the title role... He had this youthful spirit and energy that will be greatly missed." 

Sesame Workshop shared the news in a statement posted to Twitter as well. "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 wrote.

"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,'" the statement continued. "We are so grateful he shared his talents with us and with the world."

Delgado joined the cast of Sesame Street in 1971, and remained as part of the cast until 2016, when the show did not renew his contract. At the time, efforts were underway to re-tool elements of the show after the series was bought by HBO, and Delgado was among several long-time stalwarts of the series to depart.

Delgado, along with his wife, were also life-long activists and advocates, and served on the Board of Directors at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice in New York City. 

Delgado is survived by his wife, Carole, their daughter, Lauren, and his son Aram, from a previous marriage.