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Sonia Manzano’s ‘Maria’ Leaving Sesame Street After 45 Years

On Monday, the eyes of countless current and former children welled up sad-but-happy tears for Sonia Manzano, the actress who played Maria on Sesame Street for 45 years. That’s because Manzano told the crowd at her American Library Association address in San Francisco that she would be leaving the PBS show:

45 years working in television is a long time, but at the same program? That’s a helluva legacy, especially when it’s attached to a program as seminal and educational as Sesame Street. So you probably don’t have any trouble imagining all the tears that welled up in response to Manzano’s announcement. Hell, some of them were probably yours. Since the announcement was initially broadcast on Twitter, Twitter responded in kind as Monzano received an outpouring of support from her fans.

Most were endearing:

While a few were predictably goofy, albeit still rife with admiration:

[Image via PBS]

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