‘Sesame Street’ scribe Judy Freudberg dies

Shared 17 Daytime Emmys, co-created 'Elmo's World'

Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62.

Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird” and penned a large number of straight-to-video “Sesame Street” specials. She and Geiss co-scripted “An American Tail” and shared story credit on “The Land Before Time.”

For her work on “Sesame Street” since 1975 Freudberg shared 17 Daytime Emmys.

Freudberg’s “four decades with ‘Sesame Street’ brought laughter, music and learning to children every day,” the cast, crew and producers of “Sesame Street” said in a statement. “Judy’s words and stories will continue to entertain and bring joy to generations of young children to come throughout the world.”

The “Elmo’s World” segments, for which she was head writer, introduced a character that become extraordinarily popular in the 1990s.

Freudberg penned hundreds of segments for “Sesame Street,” some of which featured celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Bill Irwin, BB King, Jodie Foster, Ellen DeGeneres, Maya Angelou, Shari Lewis, Gregory Hines and Susan Sarandon.

In celebration of “Sesame Street’s” 35th anniversary, Freudberg co-wrote, with Lou Berger, the primetime special “Sesame Street Presents: The Street We Live On,” which was nominated for an Emmy for children’s program.

Freudberg’s other credits include several Sesame Street books.

Born in Memphis, Freudberg graduated from Syracuse U. with a degree in speech and dramatic arts. She began working at “Sesame Street” producer the Children’s Television Workshop in 1971, first as a typist, then as a production assistant and eventually as a writer.

She is survived by two sisters and a brother.

More TV

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Portlandia': Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Pick Their Proudest Musical Moments

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

  • NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 23: (L-R)

    How Long Will TV and Film's Boom Market for Female Stories Last?

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

  • Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie

    'Game of Thrones' Stars Rose Leslie and Kit Harington Married in Scotland

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

  • Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul

    Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul Ryan's Request for a Photo

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    'Roseanne': What's Next for ABC's Spinoff

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

  • D'Arcy Carden The Good Place

    Emmys: Will Critical Darlings Like 'The Good Place' and 'Killing Eve' Find a Foothold?

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    The 'Roseanne' Spinoff Can't Escape Roseanne (Column)

    Longtime “Sesame Street” writer Judy Freudberg, who co-created the show’s “Elmo’s World” segment and also scripted animated features “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time,” died of a brain tumor in New York on Sunday, June 10. She was 62. Freudberg also co-scripted with Tony Geiss the 1985 feature “Sesame Street Presents: Follow that […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content