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Anthony Geiss, the voice behind the some of the most iconic children’s characters of all time — Big Bird, Kermit the Frog, Elmo and others on the hit program Sesame Street — passed away last week in Valhalla, N.Y. He was 86 and a resident of Manhattan.

The Sesame Street writer was hospitalized for a neck injury last month and died from complications from the injury, The New York Times reports.

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Growing up in NYC’s Greenwich Village, Tony was always surrounded by art and culture.

He was part of the staff or writers and composers for Sesame Street for over 30 years and his work on the show earned him 22 Daytime Emmy’s screenwriting and songwriting.

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Tony also created muppets of his own, including the Honkers and Abby Cadabby, helped bring the Elmo’s World segment to life.

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“Tony’s brilliant words, his sense of humor, his musical virtuosity, and his respect for children in this country and around the world, brought laughter, love and learning together for generations,” said the management and board of trustees of Sesame Workshop said in a statement, via Yahoo! News. “His work will continue to be shown and treasured by millions for years to come.”

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