Bob McGrath, an original cast member of the beloved children’s program Sesame Street, has died, according to statements from his family and Sesame Workshop shared on social media. He was 90.
“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,” the family statement shared on Facebook read.
The Sesame Workshop paid tribute to McGrath’s nearly five decades on the show in a thread on Twitter.
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“A founding cast member, Bob embodied the melodies of Sesame Street like no one else, and his performances brought joy and wonder to generations of children around the world,” the statement read in part. “We will be forever grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honored that he shared so much of his life with us.”
McGrath appeared in the Sesame Street pilot in 1969 and went on to work on 47 seasons of the show as Bob Johnson, departing the series in 2017 but still representing it at various events in recent years.
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The actor, who was also an accomplished tenor and musician, performed in “concert halls from Las Vegas to Saskatchewan to Tokyo many times over,” according to Sesame Workshop. McGrath helped make several of Sesame Street‘s best-known songs – like People in Your Neighborhood and Sing a Song – memorable childhood staples.
Sesame Street cast member Alan Muraoka paid tribute to his “role model”.
Words cannot begin to express what Bob meant to me: a role model, a mentor, a friend. His kindness and wicked sense of humor were such a joy, and I loved him so much,” Muraoka wrote on Instagram. “Rest well my friend. You did good.”
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