Sonia Manzano portrayed Maria on Sesame Street…for 44 years! The 65-year-old Puerto Rican actress announced her retirement at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco. She’s telling fans not to be “bummed” and hints that she’ll return for the show’s 50th anniversary in 2019.
Plus, the Emmy-winning actress (she’s won 15!) will be touring the country to promote her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx. Manzano describes the cramped, colorful world of her neighborhood and her alcoholic father with “heartache and humor.” She writes that it was her dream of becoming an actress that kept her “afloat among the turbulence of her life and times.” The book is be published in August 2015.