Meanwhile, Clash became somewhat of a star himself. In 2006, he published an autobiography, "My Life as a Furry Red Monster," and was the subject of the 2011 documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey."
In addition to his marquee role as Elmo, Clash served as the show's senior Muppet coordinator and Muppet captain. He won 23 daytime Emmy awards and one prime-time Emmy.
Though it remained unclear who might take over performing as Elmo, other "Sesame Street" puppeteers have been trained to serve as his stand-in, Sesame Workshop said.
"Elmo is bigger than any one person," the company said last week.
Associated Press Business Writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.