Sesame Street Actor David Smyrl Dies at 80 Years Old

Rest in peace, Mr. Handford.

David Smryl, an actor from the popular children’s TV program Sesame Street, passed away at 80 years old on Tuesday, Mar. 22 following a battle with lung cancer. He portrayed Mr. Handford, who was a retired firefighter that owned Hooper’s Store, from 1990 to 1998 on Joan Ganz Cooney’s historic educational series.

“He was funny,” his wife, Cheryl Smyrl, told the AP. “I could say so many things about him. He was loved by so many people. He was a mentor to a lot of children.”

David began his career in 1960 as a coffeehouse poet in New York City, later moving to California to pursue an acting career. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in January, and a funeral is scheduled for Monday.