Bob McGrath, original cast member on Sesame Street, dead at 90 | CBC News


Bob McGrath, an actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show Sesame Street, has died at the age of 90.

McGrath’s passing was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday: “The McGrath family has some sad news to share. Our father Bob McGrath, passed away today. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.”

Sesame Workshop tweeted Sunday evening that it “mourns the passing of Bob McGrath, a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 50 years.”

McGrath was a founding cast member of Sesame Street when the show premiered in 1969, playing a friendly neighbour Bob Johnson. He made his final appearance on the show in 2017, marking an almost five-decade-long figure in the Sesame Street world.

The actor grew up in Illinois and studied music at the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music. He also was a singer in the ’60s series Sing Along With Mitch and launched a successful singing career overseas in Japan.

From left: Sesame Street actors Matt Robinson, Will Lee, Loretta Long and McGrath stand with Big Bird in a promotional still on the set of the educational public television series, circa 1969. (Children’s Television Workshop/Getty Images)

“A revered performer worldwide, Bob’s rich tenor filled airwaves and concert halls from Las Vegas to Saskatchewan to Tokyo many times over,” Sesame Workshop said. “We will be forever grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honoured that he shared so much of his life with us.”

He is survived by his wife, Ann Logan Sperry, and their five children.

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