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The Devastating Death Of Emilio Delgado

Emilio Delgado, the actor beloved by generations of children for his role as Luis the repairman on "Sesame Street," has died at the age of 81. His wife, Carol, told TMZ that he died of a form of blood cancer, which he was first diagnosed with in December 2020, and that he spent his final moments surrounded by family members at his home in New York City. He had been in hospice care until recently.

Delgado continued working as an actor until the pandemic closed down the entertainment industry in early 2020, and his last role as a leading man was in the theater production "Quixote Nuevo." In January 2022, he even had a gig doing voiceover for an unnamed project. Delgado was also a fierce advocate for change, serving on the Board of Directors for the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, an institution that serves as a safe space for LGBTQIA youth and promotes intersectional approaches to justice (via The Independent).

Emilio Delgado inspired generations with his role on Sesame Street

First joining the cast of "Sesame Street" in 1971, Emilio Delgado spent a grand 45 years on the long-running educational children's program, in which he played the role of Luis, owner of the Fix-It Shop. He remained in the role until 2016 (via The Washington Post).

Born in California, Delgado was raised by his grandparents in Mexico, but returned to the United States for high school, after which he served in the California National Guard and then attended the theater program at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita. It was while studying in the program that Delgado won the "Sesame Street" gig that would make him a beloved icon to children across the country, many of whom, now adults, expressed their fond memories of his character upon the news of his death.

Delgado would return to "Sesame Street" once more for the show's 50th anniversary special in 2019. He was also featured in the documentary "Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street," which detailed the rise of the groundbreaking puppet show. His other roles included turns on Netflix's hit shows "House of Cards" and "The Get Down," as well as brief stints on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," and a small voice-acting bit in the massively popular role-playing video game "Red Dead Redemption II" (via IMDb).