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Emmy-winning actor David Smyrl, best known for his role on Sesame Street, has died at 80 years old. The Philadelphia native was diagnosed with lung cancer in January of this year.

From 1990 to 1998, Smyrl played Mr. Hartford, a retired firefighter who ran Hooper’s Store on Sesame Street. He began his TV career in the 1970s show Express Yourself. Smryrl is also known for a role as Sam Lucas on The Cosby Show.

“He was loved by so many people,” wife Cheryl Smyrl said. “He was a mentor to a lot of children. He was a family man, loyal, true and faithful.”

Smyrl and Cheryl met in 1975 and were friends for decades until getting married in 1992. In addition to his wife, Smyrl is survived by his stepson.

Check below for throwback video of Smyrl from his Sesame Street days.