Long-time Sesame Street star Bob McGrath dies aged 90

The actor died peacefully surrounded by family

FILE - Bob McGrath, right, looks at the Cookie Monster as they accept the Lifetime Achievement Award for '"Sesame Street" at the Daytime Emmy Awards on Aug.  30, 2009, in Los Angeles.  McGrath, an actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show “Sesame Street” has died at the age of 90.  McGrath’s passing was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, Dec.  4, 2022.  (AP Photo / Chris Pizzello, File)
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Bob McGrath, an actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show Sesame Street has died at the age of 90.

McGrath’s death was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday. “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.”

Sesame Workshop tweeted on Sunday evening that it “mourns the passing of Bob McGrath, a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 50 years”.

Left to right: 'Sesame Street' hosts Matt Robinson (Gordon), Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) Loretta Long (Susan) and Bob McGrath (Bob) stand with Big Bird in a promotional still on the set of the educational public television series, circa 1969. (Photo by Children's Television Workshop/Courtesy of Getty Images)

McGrath was a founding cast member of Sesame Street when the show made its premiere in 1969, playing a friendly neighbour Bob Johnson. He made his final appearance on the show in 2017, marking an almost five-decade-long figure in the Sesame Street world.

The actor grew up in Illinois and studied music at the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music. He also was a singer in the 1960s series Sing Along With Mitch and launched a successful singing career overseas in Japan.

“A revered performer worldwide, Bob’s rich tenor filled airwaves and concert halls from Las Vegas to Saskatchewan to Tokyo many times over,” Sesame Workshop said. “We will be forever grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honoured that he shared so much of his life with us.”

He is survived by his wife, Ann Logan Sperry, and their five children.

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Updated: December 05, 2022, 5:49 AM
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