Bob McGrath, one of the original ‘Sesame Street’ stars, died at the age of 90


Bob McGrath, an actor, and musician best remembered as one of Sesame Street’s original human stars died on Sunday. He was 90.

McGrath’s family acknowledged his death in a Facebook post, which stated, “Friends on Facebook, the McGrath family has some terrible news to share. Bob McGrath, our father, died today. He died at home, surrounded by his family, in peace.”

The news was also announced on the show’s official social media channels, which retweeted a Sesame Workshop post.

“Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of Bob McGrath, a cherished member of the Sesame Street family for over 50 years,” the organization wrote beside a photo of McGrath.

“As a founding cast member, Bob embraced Sesame Street’s songs like no one else, and his performances brought joy and surprise to generations of children worldwide,” the post said.

“Whether it’s teaching them the ABCs, introducing them to the people in their area, or simply instilling the joy of music in their hearts. Bob’s powerful tenor filled airways and music halls from Las Vegas to Saskatchewan to Tokyo on numerous occasions.”

“We will be eternally grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honored that he shared so much of his life with us,” Sesame Workshop said in their homage to the famous performer.

McGrath first appeared on the long-running television series in 1969, in the inaugural episode. McGrath, who played nice neighbor Bob Johnson on Sesame Street for five decades and 47 seasons, became a Sesame Street institution.

His final series appearance was in 2017, although McGrath stayed in the Sesame Street universe, making public appearances at different Sesame Street-related events.

McGrath starred in several classic scenes from the program, including musical performances of “People in Your Neighborhood,” “Sing a Song,” “If You’re Happy And You Know It,” and even the show’s theme song.

He was also one of Sesame Street’s most visible human faces, appearing in the show’s film, video game, and sing-along ventures.

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McGrath, who was born in Ottawa, Illinois in 1932, studied music at the University of Michigan and later at the Manhattan School of Music. He married Ann Logan Sperry in 1958 and debuted in show business in the 1960s as a singer on Mitch Miller’s Sing Along With Mitch.

He expanded his profession as a recording artist there before moving to what would become his house on Sesame Street in 1969.

McGrath leaves behind his wife, three daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren.

Fans’ reactions to his passing are shown here.

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