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'Sesame Street' actor dies at 65

Last Updated: Monday, August 12, 2002 | 12:00 AM ET

The Arts Report

Los Angeles - Matt Robinson, one of the original cast members of television's Sesame Street , died in his sleep Monday at his Los Angeles home. He was 65.

He had suffered from Parkinson's disease for 20 years.

Robinson began his show business career at a Philadelphia TV station in 1963. He was cast as Gordon when Sesame Street debuted on PBS in 1969, and also provided the voice of the puppet Roosevelt Franklin.

(When Robinson left the cast in 1971, the role of Gordon was briefly taken over by actor Hal Miller; Roscoe Orman has played Gordon since 1972.)

After leaving Sesame Street , Robinson wrote for the stage, screen and television, including such series as Sanford and Son and Eight is Enough .

In 1983, he went to work for fellow Philadelphia native Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show , where he served as a writer and producer for seven seasons despite the difficulties posed by his illness.

Robinson's daughter, Holly Robinson Peete, followed in her father's footsteps, starring in the TV series 21 Jump Street and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper .

For more arts news, listen to The Arts Report weekdays at 7:12 a.m., 8:12 a.m. and 5:55 p.m. on CBC Radio Two.

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