Mexican-American actor Emilio Delgado, best known among fans for playing Luis Rodriguez on the long-running beloved educational children's television series Sesame Street, died on Thursday. He was 81. The news of Delgado's death was confirmed by Sesame Workshop in a statement on social media. The company tweeted, "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 humor invited children to share a friendship that has echoed through generations." The statement further read, "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 in 1971 and played Luis until 2016. After his contract was not renewed, there was an outcry among fans, prompting his return, including Bob McGrath (as the character Bob) and Roscoe Orman (in the role of Gordon) to come back for 'Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration' in 2019. Robert Attermann, the CEO of A3 Artists Agency, also expressed his condolences and said, "We are saddened by the news of Emilio’s passing." He added, "Emilio was an immense talent who brought so much joy and smiles to his fans. He will be missed by many and we know his legacy will live on. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his wife, Carole." Delgado, who also later played Luis for Sesame Workshop events, is survived by his wife Carole and his two children.

Outside of his work on Sesame Street, Emilio Delgado made appearances on shows like House of Cards, Law & Order, Hawaii Five-O, Quincy M.E., Cupid and The Get Down, while also landing a recurring role as a news editor in the Emmy-winning drama series Lou Grant. He went on to do voiceover work for the smash-hit video game Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018.