If you grew up watching Sesame Street, then Emilio Delgado has always been a part of your life. In fact, he often felt like family.
He joined the show in its third season and played the beloved Fix-It-Shop owner Luis Rodriguez for 44 years. According to a tweet by Sesame Workshop, "Emilio proudly laid claim to the 'record for the longest-running role for a Mexican American in a TV series.'"
Last night, Sesame Workshop confirmed the actor's death after a long illness. He was 81, but his legacy will forever be cemented in the lives of the people he changed.
Emilio was undoubtedly a trailblazer whose appearances alongside Sonia Manzano’s Maria made Latino kids like myself feel seen, validated, and loved. In an interview with All Arts TV last year, Emilio said he would often throw Spanish words into his dialogue, even when it wasn't written on the page, making the role his own and allowing him to connect with other bilingual kids around the country.
His legacy is as impactful as the four decades he spent on our screens, and fans and friends of Emilio — including Kermit — are now sharing just how much he meant to them.
Many talked about just how impactful it was to see a Latino on Sesame Street growing up:
While friends — as well as people who've gotten the chance to meet him — shared just how warm and electric he was.
Others took this moment to look back at the impact he had in their childhoods, as well as on the world at large.
Que en paz descanses Emilio. We are all better off for having had you in our lives. ❤️