national-acad-tvSONIA MANZANO
To be Honored on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Daytime Gala

New York, NY – April 6, 2016 – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) today announced that Sonia Manzano, legendary performer of “Maria”  from  Sesame  Street,  will  be  honored  with  the  Lifetime  Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites.
“My children and just about every child in America has grown up learning their ABC’s  from  the  iconic  character  of  “Maria,”  on  Sesame  Street  played  by  Sonia Manzano,”said Bob Mauro, President, NATAS. “Sonia not only brought the life events of marriage, having a baby, and being a mother to viewers young and old, she also brought a seldom-seen diversity, a Latin role-model, unlike anything on television at the time.  She is one of the most beloved female performers in the history of Sesame Street, and the National Academy is proud to be honoring her with our prestigious Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.”
“Honoring Sonia Manzano has a special meaning for me – as we both started our professional careers doing the play, Godspell, though in different casts when we were practically children,” said David Michaels, SVP, Daytime (NATAS).  “Her talent both in front of the camera and as a writer, bringing the themes of diversity to a national audience on Sesame Street, is an extraordinary achievement worthy of this well-earned recognition!”
Ms.  Manzano  will  be  joining  an  illustrious  group  of  previous  Lifetime Achievement Honorees including, Betty White, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin, Dick Clark, Bob Barker, Alex Trebek and many others.  

Sonia Manzano
Sonia Manzano (Maria) is a first generation Puerto Rican who has touched the lives of millions of parents and children as “Maria” on Sesame Street and helped them grow smarter, stronger and kinder.  
Manzano was raised in the South Bronx where her involvement in the arts was inspired  by  teachers  who  encouraged  her  to  audition  for  the  High  School  of Performing Arts, where she began her career as an actress. She came to New York from  Carnegie  Mellon  University  to  star  in  the  original  production  of  the  off-Broadway  show  Godspell.    Manzano  joined  Sesame  Street  in  1971  and  holds  15 Emmy Awards for her previous work as part of the Sesame Street writing staff.
Manzano has performed on the New York stage in The Vagina Monologues, The Exonerated and Love, Loss and What I Wore. She has written for the Peabody Award-winning children’s series, Little Bill, and her children’s book, No Dogs Allowed, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in 2004, was selected by the General Mills initiative Spoonfuls of Stories.  Her second book, A Box Full of Kittens, was  published  in  2007.  Manzano’s  first  young  adult  novel  The  Revolution  of Evelyn  Serrano,  published  by  Scholastic  in  2012,  was  chosen  as  a  Pura  Belpre Honor  Book.  A  Christmas  picture  book, Miracle  on  133rd  Street was  released September 2015. Her memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx was published September 2015 as well.  
Manzano received the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Award in Washington, DC and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education in 2003. She is proud to have been inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame in 2004. She received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Notre Dame University in 2005. She was voted one of the most influential  Hispanics  by  People  Magazine  en  Español  (February  2007)  and  Ballet Hispanico awarded her their Inspiration Award in April 2011.  She received the New York Women in Film and Television Muse award for outstanding vision and achievement  in  December  2013.  Manzano  was  twice  nominated  for  an  Emmy Award as Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series.   

She  has  served  on  the  March  of  Dimes  board,  the  board  of  the  George  Foster Peabody Awards and the board of Symphony Space, a New York City theatrical institution.    Manzano  also  volunteers  for  The  Bronx  River  Alliance,  an organization dedicated to cleaning up the Bronx River in the South Bronx. She also volunteers to make a The Bronx Children’s Museum a reality.  

The Daytime Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime  television  production  and  are  presented  to  individuals  and  programs broadcast from 2:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. during the 2015 calendar year.   The  43rd  Annual  Daytime  Emmy  Awards  is  a  presentation  of  the  National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.   
FX Group, Inc., is the official provider of the Daytime Emmy Award Almanac, the official program for the event. Yangaroo, Inc. is the official provider of the Digital Media  Distribution  System  Awards  Management  Solution  (“DMDS”)  for  the submission,  judging  and  voting  of  all  programs  in  the  42nd  Annual  Daytime Emmy Awards.   
United  Airlines  is  the  official  airline  of  the  Daytime  Emmy  Awards  and  The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
A full list of all nominees in all categories can be downloaded from our website at  
Press Registration forms for the May 1st event can be found on the NATAS website at  
About The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) is a professional service  organization  dedicated  to  the  advancement  of  the  arts  and  sciences  of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television  with  the  coveted  Emmy ®   Award  for  News  &  Documentary,  Sports, Daytime  Entertainment,  Daytime  Creative  Arts  &  Entertainment,  Public  & Community  Service,  and  Technology  &  Engineering.  NATAS  membership consists  of  over  15,000  broadcast  and  media  professionals  represented  in  19 regional  chapters  across  the  country.    Beyond  awards,  NATAS  has  extensive educational  programs  including  Regional  Student  Television  and  its  Student Award for Excellence for outstanding journalistic work by high school students, as  well  as  scholarships,  publications,  and  major  activities  for  both  industry professionals  and  the  viewing  public.   For  more  information,  please  visit  the website at
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NATAS Press Contact:
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NATAS PR LA /Social Media Contacts:
B. Harlan Boll – 626-296-3757
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