May 10, 2013 / 6:25 PM / in 5 years

'Sesame Street' adds third Spanish-speaking character

(Reuters) - Children’s television series “Sesame Street” said on Friday it was adding a third Spanish-speaking character to its cast and will put a special focus on Hispanic heritage in its upcoming season, in an acknowledgement of changing U.S. demographics.

Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, 26, of "Sesame Street," poses with muppet Rosita in New York in this undated handout photo. Sesame Workshop/Handout via Reuters

Bilingual character Armando, who will be portrayed by 26-year-old Puerto Rico-born actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, will debut in September on the long-running series of people and puppets that airs on public broadcaster PBS.

“Like his character ‘Mando,’ Ismael represents a culturally fluid and deeply layered new generation of Hispanic-Americans,” Carol-Lynn Parente, executive producer of “Sesame Street,” said in a statement.

“He has a passion for creative expression and a warmth that comes right through the camera,” Parente added.

“Sesame Street” previously added two bilingual Spanish-speaking actors and one bilingual puppet, Rosita. Puppet Ovejita, who only speaks Spanish, appears occasionally.

The United States is on a path to becoming a “majority minority” nation as minority babies topped 50 percent for the first time in 2011, with Hispanics the largest and fastest-growing minority group.

“Sesame Street,” which is entering its 44th season, is produced by the non-profit Sesame Workshop in New York.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Vicki Allen

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