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'Sesame Street' director Emily Squires, 71

Nov. 24, 2012 at 10:49 PM  |  Updated Nov. 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Emily Squires, a six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning director of "Sesame Street," died in New York City, her family said. She was 71 and died of unknown causes.

Squires, who died Wednesday, directed and wrote for "Sesame Street" from 1982 to 2007, receiving a Humanitas Prize for her writing. The prize recognizes television programming that explores the best instincts of the human spirit.

She also produced and directed several "Sesame Street" TV specials, including 1994's "Sesame Street's All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!" which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy, and 1997's "Elmo Saves Christmas," which received a Primetime Emmy for Best Children's Special.

Other children's programs she directed include "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss," a live-action and puppet series airing on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. in 1996 and 1997.

From 2001 to 2007, she wrote and directed the Emmy-winning PBS Kids puppet show "Between the Lions," designed to promote reading.

For several years, while directing "Sesame Street," she also wrote for daytime soap operas "The Guiding Light," "Search for Tomorrow," "The Secret Storm" and "As the World Turns."

Doing both became too much, she explained in 1999 on receiving an award.

"Something had to give," she said. "Actually, it wasn't difficult making the choice to return to the real world of Big Bird and Oscar."

Squires later directed humanistic and spiritual TV documentaries, including "Visions of Perfect Worlds," a conversation with the Dalai Lama; the Public Broadcasting Service's "The Art of Being Human," a portrait of painter, sculptor and spiritual author Frederick Franck; and "After Hiroshima," a reflection 50 years after the 1945 atomic bombing.

She and her husband, Len Belzer, wrote "Spiritual Places in and Around New York City," published in 2000.

Topics: Dalai Lama
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