Bob McGrath, the original star of Sesame Street who started the show in 1967, has died at the age of 90

Bob McGrath who was one of the original stars of Sesame Street has passed away at the age of 91.

McGrath appeared in the pilot in 1969 and went on to appear in another 47 seasons.

The family published the news of the actor’s death on his official Facebook page.

Our father, Bob McGrath, passed away today. He died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family.

McGrath finally took a break from acting on Sesame Street with its final episode titled Having a Ball in 2017.

He has appeared in over 150 episodes of the show as well as numerous specials, direct-to-video movies, and two feature films.

McGrath conducted lessons for children through puppeteering and also wrote Native Sons productions including People in Your Neighborhood, Sing a Song, If You’re Happy You Know It and Song for Sesame Street.

Bob McGrath, one of the original stars of Sesame Street, has died at the age of 91

The four regular hosts of Sesame Street were filmed during its first season.  From left, Bob McGrath, Matt Robinson, Will Lee, and Loretta Long.  The series is now in its 53rd season

The four regular hosts of Sesame Street were filmed during its first season. From left, Bob McGrath, Matt Robinson, Will Lee, and Loretta Long. The series is now in its 53rd season

McGrath was one of four cast members set to launch Sesame Street in 1969, playing a character named Bob alongside Matt Robinson as Gordon, Loretta Long as Susan and Will Lee as Mr. Hooper.

“We always looked at children as just short people. We never really talked to them,” McGrath told the Sun-Times in 1998.

“The kids we were supposed to get to, I think we got to,” McGrath added. They have grown up. They are in their 30s now. They have babies of their own, our Sesame Seeds, and they come up to me and say, “Thank you so much. You’ve made a huge difference in our lives.”

Although McGrath finally stepped away from appearing in front of the lens on Sesame Street in 2017, he continued to work behind the scenes with Sesame Workshop.

Sunday night, actor Josh Gad posted his own tribute.

McGrath was my childhood. Thank you for helping to teach us kindness, respect, love and empathy. You have been as much a teacher to my generation as any true teacher we have. Jad wrote: RIP.

Center McGrath is pictured at a Sesame Street 50th birthday celebration in 1999

Center McGrath is pictured at a Sesame Street 50th birthday celebration in 1999

Bob McGrath celebrated his 90th birthday in June, pictured above

Bob McGrath celebrated his 90th birthday in June, pictured above

McGrath is seen next to some dolls in a photo taken in September

McGrath is seen next to some dolls in a photo taken in September

McGrath was photographed walking around the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York earlier this year

McGrath was photographed walking around the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York earlier this year

He will still appear at public events related to the television franchise serving as an advocate for the show.

He has also starred in numerous Sesame Street productions over the years including independent films, vocals, holiday specials, video games, and more.

His most recent appearance was in the documentary Sesame Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street in 2021.

Prior to Sesame Street, McGrath sang the songs of the week as part of conductor Mitch Miller’s vocal ensemble on the 1960s NBC series Sing Along With Mitch.

Born June 13, 1932 in Ottawa, Illinois, McGrath studied music at the University of Michigan and, later, at the Manhattan School of Music.

McGrath married his wife, Ann Logan Sperry, in 1958.

He was one of the series’ longest serving human cast members and was succeeded by his wife, Anne, and their three children, as well as five of their grandchildren.

In the 1967 photo, the presenters of the TV show, Sesame Street, pose on the set with Big Bird.  Left to right: Matt Robinson (1937-2002), Will Lee (1908-1982), Loretta Long, 84, and Bob McGrath, who died Sunday at the age of 90.

In the 1967 photo, the presenters of the TV show, Sesame Street, pose on the set with Big Bird. Left to right: Matt Robinson (1937-2002), Will Lee (1908-1982), Loretta Long, 84, and Bob McGrath, who died Sunday at the age of 90.

Sesame Street cast member Bob McGrath is pictured in December 2021

Sesame Street cast member Bob McGrath is pictured in December 2021

Bob McGrath was cast in 2008. He will still appear at public events related to the TV franchise serving as an advocate for the show

Bob McGrath was cast in 2008. He will still appear at public events related to the TV franchise serving as an advocate for the show


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