Friday, August 29, 2008

*Pondering Sesame Street Characters* Part 1

Today finally seemed like the right day to find out what happened to the original Gordon....

Matt Robinson

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Matt Robinson
Born Matthew Thomas "Matt" Robnson Jr. January 1, 1937 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died August 5, 2002 (aged 65) Los Angeles, California
Spouse(s) Dolores Robinson

Matthew Thomas "Matt" Robinson, Jr. (January 1, 1937August 5, 2002) was an American actor. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on New Year's Day in 1937, he was the first actor to portray the character of Gordon Robinson, on the long-running children's TV program Sesame Street. When Sesame Street began in 1969, not only did Robinson play Gordon, but he also provided the voice of the puppet Roosevelt Franklin and also was one of the show's producers. He left the show in 1972. In later years, when producers needed a last name for the Gordon character, then played by Roscoe Orman, they used Matt's last name.

He wrote and produced the films Save the Children and Amazing Grace in the early 1970s, and authored scripts for Sanford and Son and Eight Is Enough. In 1983, he joined the staff of the NBC's The Cosby Show as a producer and staff writer. By that time, he was beginning to show symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, but stayed with the show for seven seasons despite the difficulty; however, he ultimately succumbed to the disease on August 5, 2002 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 65.

He is survived by his daughter, actress Holly Robinson Peete (21 Jump Street, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, For Your Love), son Matt Robinson III, his wife, Dolores Robinson, and five grandchildren.

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