Sesame Street has paid tribute to long-time cast member Emilio Delgado, who played Fix-it Shop owner Luis Rodriguez on the show for 45 years, after his death at the age of 81.
The star “proudly laid claim to the record for the longest-running role for a Mexican-American in a TV series,” the show said.
A statement from Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, said: “Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of Emilio Delgado, known the world over for his role as Luis on Sesame Street.
“A beloved member of the Sesame family for over 50 years, his warmth and humour invited children to share a friendship that has echoed through generations.
“At the forefront of representation, Emilio proudly laid claim to the ‘record for the longest-running role for a Mexican-American in a TV series’.
“We are so grateful he shared his talents with us and with the world.”
Delgado joined Sesame Street as Luis in its third series in 1971.
His character Luis married the show’s other prominent Latin star, Maria Figueroa, played by Sonia Manzano, in a ceremony on the show in 1988.
He took a brief hiatus from the programme that same year before returning to the show, where he remained until 2016.
He continued appearing with the cast at public events after his departure and returned for Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2019.