Sonia Manzano, known to many in the United States as María Figueroa on the long-running PBS children's television series "Sesame Street" is retiring after being on the program for just over 44 years. The program, created by Joan Ganz Cooney in 1969, also helped popularize Jim Henson's Muppets. and Manzano joined the show two years later, in 1971. Also joining the cast that year was HOLA member Emilio Delgado, who plays Luis Rodríguez. Their characters dated over time and married in 1988, becoming parents to a daughter, named Gabriela (named after Manzano's real-life daughter Gabriella). Manzano and Delgado received the HOLA Ilka Award from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors in 2005 for their work in educating children through "Sesame Street".
|With Emilio Delgado at|
the 2005 HOLA Awards.
In addition to "Sesame Street", she has a recurring role as Judge Gloria Pepitone on the long-running NBC television series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and as the title character in the Adel L. Morales film short Missing Grandma (which most recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival). She will soon release her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx. This is a followup to her award-winning novel The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. For more information about the magnificent Sonia Manzano, click here.