Cast Bios

Gina

Alison Bartlett (Gina) has been a Sesame Street cast member for 21 years and is a contributing writer to the Sesame Street online newsletter. Bartlett began acting at the age of 12 when she debuted in John Guare's production of Landscape of the Body directed by Gary Sinise. Bartlett's other theatre credits include: the role of Donna in the Broadway production of David Rabe's Hurlyburly directed by Mike Nichols; off-Broadway in Second Stage's production of Jersey City directed by Risa Bramon in which she starred as Magaly; Ubu Repertory Theatre's Family Portrait directed by Shirley Kaplan; and Ensemble Studio Theatre's 2006 marathon in 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd directed by Jamie Richards.

Bartlett's television credits include recent guest leads on Mercy, Canterbury's Law, Rescue Me (recurring guest star), Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Sopranos (recurring as Gwen McIntyre), The Jury, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Queens Supreme, and the ABC after-school special, It's Only Rock & Roll, for which she received an Emmy nomination. Her film credits include the independent films The Innkeepers, Sanctified, and the short film Euthanasia with first time director Adrian Grenier.

A lifelong New Yorker, Bartlett resides in New York City with her three children.

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Gabi

Desiree Casado (Gabi) is now in her 18th season with Sesame Street. Casado plays the daughter of Maria and Luis. She has been acting professionally since the age of seven. Her film credits include I Like it Like That, Bed of Roses, Joe’s Apartment, Wishful Thinking, Gloria, Anamorph, and the independent film Juicy. She has also appeared in various commercials and played a small roll on the soap opera One Life to Live.

Performing and dancing are her passions, along with working with young children. She recently received her Master’s in Childhood and Special Education. ;She is now a collaborative team teacher in special education but still auditions to follow her dream as an actress!

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Luis

Emilio Delgado (Luis) is originally from the border town of Calexico, California. He began his career in Los Angeles and came to New York in 1971 when he was cast as ”Luis“ and continues in that role, happy to be a pioneer in the positive portrayal of a Latino on television.

The enthusiastic response of Sesame Street fans over the years for his portrayal of “Luis” is a continuing source of personal satisfaction for Delgado. In his over four decades on Sesame Street, Delgado has received numerous awards for his role as the friendly and hardworking ‘fix-it’ man and loving husband and father to Maria and Gabi.

Delgado has volunteered his time and talent to programs such as Head Start, Project Sunshine, New York’s 52nd Street Project and many others.

When not on Sesame Street, Emilio performs in a variety of film, television and theater roles. He can be seen in various episodes of the Law & Order series and this fall season he will be seen in the new network show Person of Interest and in the upcoming Tyler Perry film We the Peeples.

In addition to acting, Delgado loves to sing and has packed concert halls across America singing and performing songs from Sesame Street. Recently, he recorded the Joe Raposo favorite, “Sing,” with the internationally acclaimed Pink Martini band and made his Carnegie Hall debut. He also performed with them as their special guest at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Chris

Christopher Lawrence Knowings (Chris) was born in the Bronx, New York. At the age of 13, with the encouragement of one of his teachers, he landed a co-starring role in director Spike Lee’s film, Crooklyn. After several television appearances, Knowings then helped launch the television career of his twin sister, Christy, landing her a role on the sketch comedy All That for Nickelodeon. A few years later, he was cast as Lamar Johnson on the Nickelodeon series Taina, marking the first time siblings had starred on separate shows for the network. From there, he began appearing in commercials, radio ads and television shows such as New York Undercover, Law & Order, and 100 Centre Street. Knowings was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series category in 2009 and 2010 for his work on Sesame Street. His character “Chris” is the nephew of Gordon and Susan and works in Hooper’s with Alan.

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Susan

Loretta Long (Susan) has been with Sesame Street since its first season. Before that, she appeared on the public television program Soul!, and in summer stock productions of Guys and Dolls, Milk and Honey and Sweet Charity. She is a distinguished former schoolteacher with a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Long is a published author, visiting scholar and educational consultant. She plays “Susan,” Gordon’s wife and Miles’ mother. Over the years, her character has evolved from housewife to nurse to working mother.

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Maria

Sonia Manzano (Maria) is a first-generation Puerto Rican who has touched the lives of millions of parents and children as "Maria" on Sesame Street.

Manzano was raised in the South Bronx where her involvement in the arts was inspired by teachers who encouraged her to audition for the High School of Performing Arts. She was accepted there and began her career as an actress. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year, she came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show Godspell. Within a year, Manzano joined the production of Sesame Street in 1971 where she eventually began writing scripts for the series. Manzano has 15 Emmy Awards to date as part of the Sesame Street writing staff.

Manzano has performed on the New York stage in the critically acclaimed theater pieces The Vagina Monologues, The Exonerated and most recently Love, Loss and What I Wore. She has written for the Peabody Award-winning children's series, Little Bill, and has written a parenting column for the Sesame Street parents website, Talking Out Loud. Her children's book, No Dogs Allowed, published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in 2004, was selected by the General Mills initiative Spoonfuls of Stories. It has been turned into a children's musical, with a production at the Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida and the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City. Her second book, A Box Full Of Kittens, was published in 2007. Scholastic will publish Manzano’s first young adult novel in the fall of 2012.

Manzano received The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award in Washington, DC and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education in 2003. She received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Notre Dame University in 2005. Closer to home, she is proud to have been inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame in 2004. She was voted one of the most influential Hispanics by People Magazine en Español (February 2007) and Ballet Hispanico awarded her their Inspiration Award in April 2011.

Manzano was twice nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series. She has served on the March of Dimes board, the board of the George Foster Peabody Awards and the board of Symphony Space, a New York City theatrical institution. Manzano also volunteers for Learning Leaders, a non-profit organization who provides one-on-one and small group instructional support, and The Bronx River Alliance, an organization dedicated to cleaning up the Bronx River in the South Bronx.

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Bob

Bob McGrath (Bob) is an original cast member and is beginning his 42nd season as “Bob” on Sesame Street. An accomplished singer with seven children’s albums to his credit, he performs family pop concerts and has appeared with more than 100 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada.

McGrath has authored eight books including Uh Oh! Gotta Go! (on potty training) and Oops! Excuse Me Please! (on manners). He co-authored an educational music curriculum book for Alfred Publishing Co., called Music For Fun!, used by teachers from kindergarten to second grade. His Rhythm Band Set produced by Rhythm Band Instruments is a Parents’ Choice Award winner. He also has a new DVD called Ringleader with Rhythm Band Instruments for young handbell ringers. McGrath co-authored Curriculum Connections with Educational Activities, Inc., a professional development video and CD for teachers of pre-K and 1st grade which uses music to develop literacy skills. He has a recording company called Bob’s Kids Music, which encompasses his seven albums. The Baby Record and Sing Me a Story both won Parents’ Choice Awards and The Children’s Music Web Award in 2002. McGrath recently released his seventh CD, Christmas Sing Along. During his career, McGrath has performed and recorded with Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, the Robert Shaw Chorale, Fred Waring, and Pablo Casals. McGrath was the featured male soloist in NBC’s Sing Along With Mitch for four years, and was a Japanese teen sensation known as "Bobu Magulas" for three years and nine tours prior to Sesame Street.

Over the past 6 years, McGrath has been invited numerous times by the NAEYC, National Association for the Education of Young Children, to present both motivational keynote addresses and workshops for thousands of early childhood educators. McGrath has been a strong proponent of keeping music and the arts alive in the classroom as an essential part of a child’s education.

As an advocate for children, McGrath has participated in telethons and other fundraising events for over 35 years. He was honored with a lifetime membership to the Variety Children’s Charity of British Columbia, inducted into the Silver Circle of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2002, and received the Medal of Honor at the 60th Anniversary of the Midwest Clinic, the International Band and Orchestra Conference. He is the recipient of the American Eagle Award from the National Music Council, the Fame Award and a Lowell Mason Fellowship by the National Association for Music Education, and the 2006 Saskatchewan Centennial Award for outstanding contributions to the province of Saskatchewan and their annual Telemiracle telethon.

He has been chairperson of National UNICEF Day, hosted World Children’s Day at the United Nations and served as host and artistic director for the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap for over 15 years. Most recently, McGrath received The Music for Life Award, from the National Assocation of Music Merchants (NAMM) and was named an Ambassador of the National Education Association Foundation.

The resident music teacher on Sesame Street, McGrath received his Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. He has five children and eight grandchildren. Bob and his wife Ann recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. You can visit him at www.bobmcgrath.com.

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Alan

Alan Muraoka (Alan) joined the Sesame Street ensemble 14 seasons ago. His stage credits include the Broadway productions of Pacific Overtures, The King and I, My Favorite Year, Shogun, Mail, and Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer, as well as the national tours of Miss Saigon, M. Butterfly and Anything Goes. Muraoka’s numerous network television and film credits include: It Could Happen to You, 30 Rock, Louie, Showtime's Brotherhood, The Tonight Show, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, and Day of Independence, a short film by Academy Award-winning director Chris Tashima.

As a director, his 1998 production of Falsettoland for the National Asian American Theatre Company received high praise from The New York Times, and was revived in 2007 for the first ever National Asian American Theater Festival in New York City. He directed a short film for Sesame Street called "Field Trip Stories: A Kid's Yoga Class" which premiered in season 39. Other directing credits include: Disney's High School Musical (Casa Mañana – Ft. Worth, MUNY – St. Louis, and the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma – Oklahoma City); Disney's High School Musical 2 (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); Up In The Air (Associate Director, The Kennedy Center); Opening Doors (at the Brava Theater in San Francisco); John Tartaglia's Ad-Liberty at Joe's Pub; TLC (Three Loud Chicks) at Birdland; The Leading Men 1, 2 & 3 benefit concerts for BC/EFA; Empty-Handed for Musicals Tonight; and Ann Harada's Broadway Spotlight at ARS/Nova. Other New York directing credits include: the world premiere of Karaoke Stories for the Imua! Theatre Company; Screaming Like a Fool, a revue of the music of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler; and A Tribute to Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall, an homage to the famed concert with Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

A UCLA graduate, Muraoka received a musical theater performance scholarship underwritten by Carol Burnett. He is also active with many Asian American organizations and was honored with the Inspiration Award from APEX, a mentoring organization in New York City, and the Role Model of the Year award from the FCC (Families with Children From China). His character on Sesame Street is the proprietor of Hooper's Store, which was recently redesigned to reflect a more authentic urban store. Muraoka, an Asian-American of Japanese descent, is not only an important part of that change, but his warm and open character has helped make Hooper's Store the heart of the Sesame Street community. For more information, please visit his website at www.alanmuraoka.net.

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Gordon

Roscoe Orman (Gordon) is an accomplished actor whose credits extend to television, stage, and screen. He studied at New York's Circle in the Square Theatre School and The Manhattan School of Music. He made his acting debut with the Next Stage Theatre Company in 1962. He toured for two years with the Free Southern Theater and was an original member of the New Lafayette Theatre Company where he performed in many plays including Who’s Got His Own, The Duplex and The Fabulous Miss Marie. Orman has worked extensively on the New York stage with the Negro Ensemble Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Federal Theatre and American Place Theatre, where in 1993 he enjoyed critical success in the title role of The Confessions of Stepin Fetchit. He appeared as Gabriel in the 1988 Broadway production of Fences and recently starred in Driving Miss Daisy at both the Delaware Theatre Company and at Pennsylvania's Fulton Playhouse.

Orman's film credits include the title role in Willie Dynamite, F/X, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, Drive By, Thirty Days, Twilight's Last Gleaming, Coney Island, Compliments of the Serpent, and the 2011 family film Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. On television, he has been seen on such shows as Sanford and Son, Kojak, All My Children, Law & Order, Sex and the City, Cosby, and The Wire. He has also narrated the TV documentaries: Langston Hughes:The Dreamkeeper and Look I'm in College for PBS; Children's Health and Heritage of the Black West on the Discovery Channel; U.S. Presidents on the History Channel; and Images in Black and White for ESPN. He has authored two books,Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor and Ricky & Mobo, a children's book which he also illustrated. In 2008, he was named Chief Storyteller and national spokesperson for AudibleKids, the nation's leading provider of downloaded audio books. This season of Sesame Street marks Orman's 37th year as Gordon, a science teacher who is married to Susan and the father of Miles.

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Leela

Nitya Vidyasagar (Leela) returns to Sesame Street for her fourth season. Originally from India, she received her BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Credits include The Good Wife, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Split Ends, Sita Sings the Blues, The Glorious Ones (Lincoln Center Theater), Serendib (Ensemble Studio Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Love's Labor's Lost (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Coney Island Avenue (NYTW), and Monetizing Emma (NYC Fringe). As the first Indian-American character on the show, Vidyasagar brings her vibrant culture and heritage to the neighborhood of Sesame Street.