Nitya Vidyasagar played Leela, a young Indian-American woman who ran the local laundromat on Sesame Street. She made her debut on the show in Season 39 and left the series after Season 45. She did make a comeback appearance in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration.
The part of Leela wasn't originally written with an Indian-American actress in mind. "It was incidental," Vidyasagar says in an article in India West. "The casting notices said nothing of ethnicity." She became the first major Indian-American character on the American Sesame Street: "This is a big deal for me, and for the Indian-American community... and it shows that India has a growing place in the world profile."
- ↑ "Meet Leela, Sesame Street’s Newest Cast Member". India West, Lisa Tsering. March 21, 2008.