Sesame Street: Sonia Manzano retires as Maria after 45 years and fans already feel nostalgic

Manzano began starring on the much-loved children's TV show in 1971

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The Independent Culture

Fans of Sesame Street are sure to notice someone missing from the next season.

Sonia Manzano has announced that after 45 years on the much-loved children's TV show, she will be retiring from the role of popular human character Maria at the age of 65, leading to an outpouring of nostalgia from viewers.

The Puerto Rican actress and writer, has been playing wife, mother and Fix-It Shop owner Maria since 1971 and is a key figure from many of our childhoods. She won an impressive 15 Emmy Awards as part of the writing team and was nominated twice as a performer.

American Libraries tweeted the news earlier this week after it was revealed at the American Library Association Annual Conference.

It's officially the end of an era on our favourite street, so no wonder so many people are tweeting about Manzano's departure.

Fans wanting to learn more about Manzano's life and experiences on Sesame Street can look forward to her soon-to-be-released memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

The show is yet to make an official announcement about Manzano's exit but she has been retweeting fans's messages on Twitter and hinting that she may return for a 50th anniversary guest appearance.