'Sesame Street' Star Emilio Delgado, Luis for 40 Years, Dies at 81
Emilio Delgado, who played Luis on "Sesame Street" for 40 years, died Thursday at 81.
Delgado's wife Carole confirmed his death to TMZ. He had battled multiple myeloma since December 2020, and was in hospice care when he died surrounded by family and friends.
Emilio Delgaudo. I had no idea you were so sick. Seeing you a few months ago I told you how cool you looked. And you did. I never thought for a moment you were sick. So sorry for your loved ones. So glad I was able to experience your talent and warm smile.
The Mexican-American actor was born May 8, 1940, in Calexico, California. He joined the cast of "Sesame Street" in 1971, staying with the iconic children's series as Luis until 2016, only leaving the role briefly for a year in the '80s.
He continued playing Luis at events and on the 2019 TV special "Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration."
His run as Luis was thought to have set a record for the longest time a Mexican-American actor played the same role on TV.
Along with his work on "Sesame Street," Delgado worked in live theater, performed with the band Pink Martini, and reportedly completed a voice part as recently as January.
His other TV credits included the first Mexican-American soap, "Canción de la Raza" (1968), and series including "Cannon" (1976), "Hawaii Five-O" (1977), "Falcon Crest" (1982), a recurring role on "Lou Grant" (1979-1982), and two appearances on "Law & Order: SVU" (2008 & 2021).
The actor and singer was also an activist, serving on the board of directors of NYC's Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice with his wife, Carole, who survives him. He is also survived by his two children.