After 44 Years, Sesame Street’s Maria Is Retiring

Sonia Manzano, who plays Maria on Sesame Street
YouTube screenshot

Sonia Manzano has spent the past 44 years of her career on Sesame Street as Maria, but that is all coming to an end. During a recent appearance at the American Library Association’s annual conference, Manzano announced her retirement from the program.

Manzano joined Sesame Street in 1971 and was nominated twice for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. But what most people didn’t know is that Manzano was doing double duty. Not only was she an actress on the long-running educational series, but she was also a scriptwriter. It was in that role that she won 15 Emmy Awards.

Just because Manzano is retiring from Sesame Street doesn’t mean she’s going to be idle. She’s promoting her upcoming memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, as well as fulfilling speaking-engagement commitments.


Manzano will definitely be missed by her fans and Oscar the Grouch.

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