Bob McGrath, who portrayed Bob Johnson on Sesame Street for five decades, has died at the age of 90.
McGrath died peacefully at his home on Sunday, December 4, according to a statement from the actor’s family.
Along with Loretta Long, who played Susan Robinson, McGrath was one of the two longest-serving human actors on Sesame Street. Beginning with the show’s premiere in 1969 through 2016, McGrath portrayed Bob Johnson, a music teacher who lived above Hooper’s Store. His character sang famous songs like “The People in Your Neighborhood”, “Believe in Yourself” and “I’ve Got Two”.
McGrath has appeared in over 150 episodes of Sesame Street, as well as numerous specials, direct-to-video films, and two feature films. After the show’s revamp in 2017, McGrath transitioned into the role of Sesame Street’s brand ambassador, appearing at events on behalf of the workshop. He then reprized his role as Bob for a finale in 2019 for a 50th anniversary special.
After serving in the US Army during the Korean War, McGrath initially pursued a career as a folk singer and briefly rose to fame as a popular act in Japan. Even after he was cast on Sesame Street, he continued to release music – mostly for children. He also wrote a number of children’s books.
McGrath is survived by his five children, five granddaughters, and three grandsons.