Speed Reads

End of an Era

Sesame Street's Maria, Sonia Manzano, to retire after 44 years

After more than 40 years, a beloved fixture is saying goodbye to Sesame Street.

Sonia Manzano, who has played Maria since 1971, is retiring, she announced at the American Library Association's annual conference. Audiences know her as the owner of the Fix-It Shop along with her Sesame Street husband, Luis, but she has also won 15 Emmys for her work as a writer for the show. Her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, will be released soon, likely chock full of juicy tidbits about her time with Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird.

Sesame Street has not confirmed the news, but Manzano is responding to fans on Twitter asking about the departure, Variety reports.