A photo of Bob McGrath

Bob McGrath Bio, Career, Death, Family, Spouse and Net Worth

 Who is Bob McGrath?

Robert Emmett McGrath (Bob McGrath) was a famous American actor, musician, and children’s author. He is popular for playing the original human character Bob Johnson on the long-running educational television series Sesame Street.

Bob McGrath Career

Bob served with Mitch Miller and was featured tenor on Miller’s NBC-TV television singalong series Sing Along with Mitch for 4 seasons from 1960 to 1964. He was also a singer on the Walt Kelly album Songs of the Pogo. He then became a well-known recording artist in Japan, launching a series of successful albums of Irish and other folk songs and ballads sung in Japanese in the mid-1960s. This aspect of McGrath’s career was the basis of his ”secret” when he appeared on the game show To Tell the Truth in 1966 and I’ve Got a Secret in 1967.

He was then a regular cast member on Sesame Street, playing the character of Bob Johnson from 1969 to 2016. Together with series matriarch Susan Robinson, played by Loretta Long, he was among the two longest-lasting human characters on the series since the show’s debut. A Noggin segment proclaimed the 4 decades of Bob when promoting Sesame Street on that network. In July 2016, the Sesame workshop revealed that he would not return to the show for its 47th season due to its re-tooling of the series. However, the company did state that he would go on to represent the Workshop at public events.

Despite him not having been in any new material since season 45, McGrath subsequently appeared in online videos for the show. Bob also came back for the 2019 TV special Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. He then said that his 2 favorite moments on Sesame Street were Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (a 1978 Christmas special that consisted of a pastiche of ”The Gift of the Magi”). As well as the 1983 sequence that candidly addressed the death of the longtime character Mr. Hooper, portrayed by his good friend Will Lee who had died the previous year.

Other ventures

For 38 years, he was a regular fixture on Telemiracle, a telethon broadcast annually on CTV outlets in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Bob’s last regular appearance at Telemiracle was in 2015, where performers at the show paid tribute to him. In 2018, he came back for a special appearance. He earned the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan for his work from the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Lynda Haverstock on March 3, 2006. In 2013, he received the Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award from the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall.

Bob also wrote multiple children’s books such as Uh Oh! Gotta Go! (1996) and OOPS! Excuse Me Please! (2006). He was then awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. McGrath’s Sing Me a Story was then nominated for the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for children’s album of the year. He was the first recipient of the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club Lifetime Achievement Award on April 10, 2010. Bob also worked as a master of ceremonies at the Glee Club’s 150th anniversary celebration weekend.

Death

On December 4, 2022, he died at the age of 90 from complications of a stroke at his home in New Jersey.

A photo of Bob McGrath
A photo of Bob McGrath

How old is Bob McGrath?

Robert Emmett McGrath was aged 90 years as of his death on December 4, 2022, of complications of a stroke in New Jersey. He was born on June 13, 1932, in Ottawa, Illinois, U.S., and shares his birthday with Chris EvansMary-Kate Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gabby Morrison, Ashley OlsenKat Dennings, and Tim Allen, among others.

Bob McGrath Family

Who are Bob McGrath’s parents?

Robert Emmett McGrath was born in Ottawa, Illinois to Dean Martin and Jeanne Biegge. He had not shared any information about his family and parents with the media, as of his demise.

Does Bob McGrath have siblings?

He has not shared much information about his family and siblings with the media. The only known member of his family is his older sister Eileen Strobel, who is still alive.

Bob McGrath Education

McGrath enrolled in the Roxy Theater’s Amateur Program and he completed 2nd place. He then graduated from Marquette High School. Bob attended the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1954, in the school of music. Here he was a member of the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club and of the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. In 1959, he received a Master of Music Degree in voice from the Manhattan School of Music.

Bob McGrath Interests

He started singing for his family as a child, while his mother played the piano. After college, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and was in Germany for 2 years performing for the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra and booking for them.

Bob McGrath Spouse

McGrath was a married man at the time of his death in 2022. He married his wife Ann Logan Sperry in 1958. Together the couple has five children, five granddaughters, and 3 grandsons. They lived in Teaneck, New Jersey from 1958 to 2017, before moving to a ranch in Norwood, New Jersey.

Bob McGrath Kids

McGrath and his loving wife have five children together in their marriage. His children are Cathlin McGrath, Liam McGrath, Robert McGrath, Lily McGrath, and Alison McGrath Osder. He also has five granddaughters and three grandsons from his children.

Bob McGrath Height

He had a well-built, muscular, and physically fit body adding up to a height of 5 ft 11 in (1.82 m) and a weight of 115 kg (253 lbs).

Bob McGrath Net Worth

American professional actor, musician, and children’s author, McGrath has been active from 1954 to 2022. He was able to gather an estimated net worth of approximately $2 million as of his death in 2022.

Filmography

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1960–1964 Sing Along with Mitch Singer
1966 To Tell the Truth Himself 1 episode
1967 I’ve Got a Secret Himself 1 episode
1969–2016 Sesame Street Bob Johnson
1978 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street TV special
1985 Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird
1996 Elmo Saves Christmas TV special
1999 The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
2007 3:10 to Yuma Singer on Radio Program Uncredited
2013 Little Children, Big Challenges Bob Johnson Episode: “Incarceration”
2014 I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story Himself Documentary film
2019 Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Bob Johnson TV special
2021 Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street Himself Documentary film; final appearance

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