Long before "Sesame Street" premiered, Sonia Manzano lived there - minus the Muppets. Manzano spent 44 years on the beloved children's show as Maria, joining two years after its 1969 premiere that showed a place she knew well but TV audiences did not.
"What hooked me on 'Sesame Street' was that it was set in this urban environment that looked like the Bronx neighborhood that was kind of raised in," she said. "Up until that time, you never saw a city in a kids show. And what was called then an inner city, you certainly never saw any of that. ... And I was charmed that there were people of color for the first time on television."