By Clarissa Rhule
Linda Bove, you may know her more commonly as the librarian on Sesame Street. Linda Bove in a famous deaf actress who appears in many shows and movies. She was born on November 30, 1945 in Garfield, New Jersey, to two Deaf parents. She attended the New Jersey school for the Deaf. She then attended Gallaudet University, graduating in 1968, and receiving a bachelor’s degree in library sciences.
She first got into acting in 1967 when she performed for the National Theatre of the Deaf shortly after its opening. There she met her husband Ed Waterstreet and they married in 1970. She joined the cast of Sesame Street in 1971, two years after its premiere. Here she introduced sign language to hearing homes across America. She was also featured in a Sesame Street book entitled, “Sesame Street Sign Language Fun with Linda Bove.” Her time on Sesame Street ended in 2003, making her role the longest running role, in history, for a deaf person on television.
In addition to Sesame Street Linda also had had many other acting roles and was even cast in a Broadway show. She performed on a soap opera called Search for Tomorrow, as Melissa Hayley Weldon in 1973 and in Happy Days as Fonzies deaf girlfriend Allison, in 1980. She was cast as the understudy for the leading role in the Broadway play Children of a Lesser God. Linda has her own thirty-minute video called Sign Me a Story, in which she shows basics of sign language. In 1974, she received an award from AMITA, an Italian-American women's organization, in recognition for her work on television.
In 1991, she and her husband founded the Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles. Here they put on plays and musicals; which are performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and English. They won several awards for their adaptation of Big River and they premiered the first revival of Pippin since the 1970’s. The mission statement of the Theatre is, “To directly...