David Smyrl, Mr Handford on ‘Sesame Street,’ Dies at 80

The actor also appeared on “Benson” and “The Cosby Show”

Last Updated: March 25, 2016 @ 10:58 AM

David Smyrl, an actor best known for playing store owner Mr. Handford on “Sesame Street,” has died at age 80.

The Philadelphia native, who won a People’s Choice Award for his work on the ’80s sitcom “Benson,” died Tuesday months after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer, according to the Associated Press.

Smyrl also worked as a writer on “The Cosby Show,” on which he occasionally appeared as a contractor named Sam Lucas.

In 1990, he took over for Leonard Jackson as Mr. Hanford, the cheerful singing owner of Hooper’s Store on “Sesame Street.” He continued in the role until 1998.

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