Remember Emilio Delgado, the Mexican-American actor who played Sesame Street's Luis Rodriguez for 45 years, with this clip from his very first episode in 1971. In his first appearance (Season 3, Episode 1), Luis, handyman and owner of the Fix-It Shop, buys a mango from Mr. Macintosh (Chet O'Brien) and tries to teach Cookie Monster about the letter "M," which, of course, only reminds him of cookies. The full episode, "Big Bird Meets Mr. Snuffleupagus," is available to stream on HBO Max.
Delgado, 81, died Thursday of multiple myeloma. The actor was a fixture on Sesame Street from 1971 to 2016, when he and two other series regulars, Bob McGrath and Roscoe Orman, exited the children's show as it moved from PBS to HBO. About 15 years into Delgado's tenure, Luis married Maria (played by Sonia Manzano), his Fix-It Shop co-worker, in a popular 1988 episode that served to teach children about love and the importance of diversity. According to his official Twitter bio, Delgado held the record for the longest-running role for a Mexican-American in a television series, an achievement that Sesame Workshop also touted in a statement about his passing.
RIP, Emilio Delgado. You will be missed.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.