Emilio Delgado, the actor greatest identified for his beloved function as “Repair-It-Store” proprietor Luis Rodriguez on “Sesame Road,” has died, his consultant confirmed to Selection. He was 81.
“We’re saddened by the information of Emilio’s passing,” Robert Attermann, CEO of A3 Artists Company, mentioned in a press release. “Emilio was an immense expertise who introduced a lot pleasure and smiles to his followers. He will probably be missed by many and we all know his legacy will dwell on. Our ideas are together with his family members, together with his spouse, Carole.”
A Mexican American born in California and raised in Mexico, Delgado bought his begin as an actor within the late 60s working in summer season inventory theater. His first ever display credit score was within the Mexican cleaning soap opera “Canción de la Raza.” In 1970, he enrolled as a scholar within the California Institute of the Arts. The summer season earlier than his second yr on the faculty, he interviewed with Jon Stone, the top producer and author of “Sesame Road,” and was employed as a brand new solid member for the third season. Delgado’s casting was a part of an initiative to enhance the Spanish-language segments of the present, bringing extra Latino solid members onto this system.
Because the kind-hearted store proprietor Luis, Delgado would star in “Sesame Road” for 44 years — from 1971 to 2015, and is credited in 428 episodes. Along with the neighborhood’s iconic muppets like Massive Fowl and Elmo, his most frequent scene associate was Sonia Manzano, who portrayed Luis’ girlfriend Maria on the groundbreaking youngsters’s present. The 2 characters bought married in an episode that aired in 1988, and welcomed their daughter Gabi to Sesame Road a yr later. On the present, Delgado often led Spanish-language studying and Hispanic cultural classes, and infrequently sang and carried out guitar throughout musical segments.
Delgado stoped showing repeatedly in “Sesame Road” episodes after his contract wasn’t renewed attributable to a 2016 re-tooling of the sequence from the manufacturing firm. He made one ultimate look on the present in 2017, within the episode “Having a Ball,” and continued to signify the sequence alongside together with his long-time co-stars at public occasions. In 2019, he appeared within the “Sesame Road’s fiftieth Anniversary Celebration” particular. In 2021, he was interviewed within the “Sesame Road” retrospective documentary “Road Gang,” which appeared on the early years of the celebrated program. In interviews with the filmmakers, Delgado mentioned the influence “Sesame Road” had on his life and the significance the character had in difficult frequent portrayals of Latino males on tv.
“It was very troublesome, in that point, to seek out significant work as Latino actors,” Delgado mentioned within the movie. “I don’t bear in mind ever studying for any sort of a optimistic character. The one roles that I might discover had been gang members or drug addicts. I noticed I had gotten a task on tv that was a task of a Latino, Mexican-American, who was like a daily individual. He was a part of the neighborhood, he had his personal enterprise. It was a task that hadn’t been proven earlier than.”
When “Sesame Road” wasn’t taping, Delgado continued to make appearances in tv. Notable visitor spots he had included “Hawaii 5-O,” “Quincy M.E.,” “Regulation & Order,” “Cupid,” “Home of Playing cards” and “The Get Down.” He additionally had a recurring function as a information editor within the Emmy-winning drama sequence “Lou Grant.” In 2018, he supplied voiceovers for the favored online game “Crimson Useless Redemption 2.” He additionally starred in theater productions in Los Angeles and New York, together with a 2020 fashionable adaptation of “Don Quixote,” “Quixote Nuevo,” that was written by Octavio Solis and premiered on the Alley Theatre.
On the time of his loss of life, Delgado served on the board of administrators on the Bayard Rustin Heart for Social Justice, an LGBTQ+ protected area and group activism heart devoted to honoring the civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin.
Delgado is survived by his spouse Carole and his two youngsters.