Bridey Heing
Updated Jul 02, 2015 @ 9:46 am
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After 44 years, one of Sesame Street‘s beloved familiar faces is leaving the show. Sonia Manzano, a writer and actress who plays Maria, will be closing the door of the Fix-It Shop one last time in the near future, saying good-bye to a four and a half decade run on the iconic kid’s show.

Manzano got her start on Sesame Street in 1971, and three years later became a series regular. She and her show-husband, Luis, own a shop that specializes in toaster repair and play a part in the lesson-teaching skits of the show. She was also featured regularly teaching viewers Spanish words and phrases.

Manzano’s role on the show earned her two Emmy nominations, and about a gazillion fans of every age. And as part of the show’s writing staff (yes she did that, too!), she’s landed an incredible 15 Emmy statues. After writing a children’s book in 2004, she next plans to release her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

PBS hasn’t made an official announcement, but Manzano herself has confirmed via Twitter that she will be leaving. Although we’re sad to see her go, we’re so grateful for her years on Sesame Street! To bid adieu, let’s revisit a classic scene featuring Maria and… Oscar the Grouch.

(Image via PBS, video via AV Club)