Bob McGrath has died at the age of 90.
McGrath, one of the original human stars of Sesame Street, died on Sunday at his home in New Jersey.
"Hello Facebook friends, the McGrath family has some sad news to share. Our father Bob McGrath, passed away today," his family announced on Facebook on Sunday. "He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family."
McGrath, who was born on 13 June 1932 in Ottawa, Illinois, is best known for playing friendly neighbour Bob Johnson in the children's educational series. He first appeared in the pilot in 1969 and after becoming a mainstay for almost five decades, he left in 2017, although he still attended public events in connection with the show. He also appeared as Bob in Sesame Street TV specials, films, singalongs and video games.
Paying tribute to McGrath on social media, representatives of the Sesame Workshop, the organisation behind the show, wrote: "We will be forever grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honored that he shared so much of his life with us."
Actress Holly Robinson Peete shared a picture of McGrath on the set of Sesame Street with her late father Matt Robinson, who played the character Gordon, on Instagram on Sunday. She also shared a clip of her and her brother appearing on the show.
"This news has me wrecked!" she wrote in the caption. "I first met Bob McGrath in 1969 when my father and him starred together on #SesameStreet. He was the guy you saw on TV. The nicest, sweetest, kindest man. The first time my brother and I got to be on Sesame Street we had this scene with him. Rest in peace , Bob McGrath. You were so loved all over the world (sic)."
Bob is survived by his wife Ann, their five children and eight grandchildren.