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David Smyrl, known widely for his role as retired friendly firefighter Mr. Handford on Sesame Street, has lost his battle with lung cancer, Variety reports.

The death of the 80-year-old was confirmed by his wife, Cheryl. The actor passed on Tuesday near Philadelphia. The Philly native began his career in the ’70s with roles on Express Yourself and Benson, with the latter earning him a People’s Choice Award. Smyrl then dipped into the background as a writer on The Cosby Show and also played contractor Sam Lucas.

He found a concrete spot on Sesame Street as Mr. Handford, who ran Hooper’s Store on the show from 1990 to 1998. Fans took to Twitter to offer condolences to the beloved actor.

Smyrl is survived by his wife and stepson, Pancho Scott. Funeral services will take place on Monday.

SOURCE: Variety | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter

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