Beloved 'Sesame Street' Actor Bob McGrath Dies At 90

The actor, musician and children’s author was widely known for his portrayal of Bob Johnson on the long-running children's show.
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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.”

Bob McGrath attends the 11th Annual Sesame Street Workshop Benefit Gala at New York City's Cipriani 42nd Street on May 29, 2013.
Bob McGrath attends the 11th Annual Sesame Street Workshop Benefit Gala at New York City's Cipriani 42nd Street on May 29, 2013.
Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images

McGrath was a founding cast member of “Sesame Street” when the show premiered in 1969, playing a friendly neighbor 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.

“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 honored that he shared so much of his life with us.”

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

This story corrects that McGrath studied at the University of Michigan, not Maryland.

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