A Hallmark star is devastated following the loss of a TV icon – and longtime family friend.
Original “Sesame Street” star Bob McGrath died at his home on December 4, 2022, TMZ reported. The children’s show icon was surrounded by family when he passed away at age 90. McGrath appeared on the PBS series starting in the pilot episode in 1969 and remained on the show for 47 seasons, until his retirement in 2017.
Tributes poured in for McGrath from fans and celebrity friends, but one of the most poignant came from “Meet the Peetes” star Holly Robinson Peete, who had known him since she was a young child.
Holly Robinson Peete Paid Tribute to Bob McGrath With a Series Of Posts
Hours after McGrath’s death was announced, Holly Robinson Peete posted a throwback video to Instagram. The clip featured her with McGrath in a 1970 episode of “Sesame Street.” In the scene, Peete and her brother, Matt, were helping McGrath feed a baby goat. The future Hallmark star was in kindergarten at the time the scene was filmed. Peete captioned the video with a touching tribute to McGrath.
“This news has me wrecked!” she wrote. “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.”
Peete also shared the vintage clip on Twitter and asked McGrath to “say hello to my pops.”
In another post, Peete shared a photo of McGrath along with co-stars Will Lee, Matt Robinson, and Loretta Long from one of the earliest episodes of “Sesame Street.”
“The Day Ones of Sesame Street,” Peete captioned the pic. “My heart is broken that we’ve lost Bob McGrath…Rest In Peace, Bob! …Joining Will Lee (Mr Hooper) & Daddy (Gordon) in Sesame Street Heaven where the air is sweet… I love you, Loretta (Susan).”
Holly Robinson-Peete Had a Personal Connection to Bob McGrath
Peete’s father, Matt Robinson, was an original cast member on “Sesame Street,” playing neighbor Gordon on the show. He was also a writer and voice actor for the character Roosevelt Franklin. The “Sesame Street” veteran died in 2002 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, according to The New York Times.
Even though her father left the PBS kids’ show in the early 1970s, “Sesame Street” has remained a big part of Peete’s life.
According to Variety, Peete was just five years old when she joined “Sesame Street” as one of the neighborhood kids that were often featured in short segments. But her “speaking” role on the show was cut short when she kept calling her dad’s Gordon character “Daddy” by mistake, the outlet noted. Her early appearances on the children’s show spawned her love for acting.
For the 50th anniversary of “Sesame Street,” Peete and her brother returned to the set and ran into their dad’s Roosevelt Franklin muppet, per a clip posted by The Hallmark Channel.