“Sesame Street” is losing one of its most recognizable faces.
Manzano first appeared on “Sesame Street” in 1971, and was upped to a series regular in 1974. Manzano, with TV-husband Luis, are known to “Sesame Street” viewers for running the Fix-It Shop, which specializes in toaster repair.
Along with acting on the show, Manzano also served as a writer. She won 15 Emmys for her writing work on the show, and was nominated twice for her acting. Manzano also has a memoir releasing soon, “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.”
“Sonia Manzano has announced her retirement from ‘Sesame Street,’ but she will always be a part of the fabric of our neighborhood” said Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the show, said in a statement on Thursday. “During her 44-year career as the iconic ‘Maria,’ and the first leading Latina woman on television, she was a role model for young girls and women for generations. Sonia’s talents on ‘Sesame Street’ extend beyond her groundbreaking role on camera; she also earned 15 Emmy awards as a member of ‘Sesame Street’s’ writing team. We’ll always be grateful for her many years on Sesame Street as a champion of diversity and helping millions of kids grow up smarter, stronger and kinder.”