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James Maury Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, animator,[2] cartoonist, voice actor, inventor, filmmaker, and screenwriter who achieved worldwide notice as the creator of The Muppets (1955–) and Fraggle Rock (1983–1987); and as the director of The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986). He was born in Greenville, Mississippi and raised in Leland, Mississippi and University Park, Maryland.[3]

Jim Henson
Henson at a public event
Jim Henson at the 1989 Emmy Awards
Born
James Maury Henson

(1936-09-24)September 24, 1936
DiedMay 16, 1990(1990-05-16) (aged 53)
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park (B.S., 1960)
OccupationPuppeteer, animator, cartoonist, voice actor, inventor, filmmaker, screenwriter
Years active1954–1990
Known forThe Muppets
Sesame Street
Fraggle Rock
Home townLeland, Mississippi, U.S.
Hyattsville, Maryland, U.S.
Board member ofJim Henson Foundation
The Jim Henson Company (1958–90)
Jim Henson's Creature Shop (1979–90)
Spouse(s)
Jane Henson (m. 1959)
ChildrenBrian Henson
Lisa Henson
John Henson
Heather Henson
Cheryl Henson
AwardsCourage Conscience Award
Emmy Award
Disney Legend Award

Henson began developing puppets in high school. He created Sam and Friends, a short-form comedy television program, while he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in home economics, after which he produced coffee advertisements and developed experimental films. He co-founded Muppets, Inc. in 1958, which became The Jim Henson Company.

Henson joined the children's educational television program Sesame Street where he helped to develop characters for the series. He and his creative team also appeared on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He produced The Muppet Show during this period, premiering the series in 1976. He gained attention for his creations, particularly Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, and Ernie; and he was involved with Sesame Street for over 20 years. During the later years of his life, he founded the Jim Henson Foundation and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He won the Emmy Award twice for his involvement in The Storyteller and The Jim Henson Hour.

Henson died in May 1990 at age 53 from toxic shock syndrome, an unexpected event that was widely lamented in the media and entertainment industry.[4][5] In the weeks following his death, he was celebrated with a wave of tributes. He was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and was selected to be one of the Disney Legends in 2011.

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early life: 1936–61Edit

Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi on September 24, 1936, the younger of two children of Paul Ransom Henson (1904–1994), an agronomist for the United States Department of Agriculture, and his wife Betty Marcella (née Brown, 1904–1972).[6] He was raised as a Christian Scientist and spent his early childhood in Leland, Mississippi before moving with his family to University Park, Maryland near Washington, DC in the late 1940s.[7] He remembered the arrival of the family's first television as "the biggest event of his adolescence",[8] being heavily influenced by radio ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the early television puppets of Burr Tillstrom on Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Bil and Cora Baird.[8] He remained a Christian Scientist at least into his twenties when he taught Sunday School, but he wrote to a Christian Science church in 1975 to inform them that he was no longer a practicing member.[9][10]

Henson began working for WTOP-TV (now WUSA-TV) in 1954 while attending Northwestern High School, creating puppets for a Saturday morning children's show called The Junior Morning Show. He enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park as a studio arts major upon graduation, thinking that he might become a commercial artist.[11] A puppetry class offered in the applied arts department introduced him to the craft and textiles courses in the College of home economics, and he graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics. As a freshman, he created Sam and Friends, a five-minute puppet show for WRC-TV. The characters on Sam and Friends were forerunners of the Muppets, and the show included a prototype of Henson's most famous character Kermit the Frog.[12] He remained at WRC from 1954 to 1961.

In the show, Henson began experimenting with techniques that changed the way in which puppetry was used on television, including using the frame defined by the camera shot to allow the puppet performer to work from off-camera. He believed that television puppets needed to have "life and sensitivity"[13] and began making characters from flexible, fabric-covered foam rubber, allowing them to express a wider array of emotions at a time when many puppets were made of carved wood.[6] A marionette's arms are manipulated by strings, but Henson used rods to move his Muppets' arms, allowing greater control of expression. Additionally, he wanted the Muppet characters to "speak" more creatively than was possible for previous puppets, which had random mouth movements, so he used precise mouth movements to match the dialogue.

When Henson began work on Sam and Friends, he asked fellow University of Maryland senior Jane Nebel to assist him. The show was a financial success, but he began to have doubts about going into a career performing with puppets once he graduated. He spent several months in Europe, where he was inspired by European puppet performers who looked on their work as an art form.[14] He began dating Jane after his return to the United States.

Television and Muppets: 1961–69Edit

Henson spent much of the next two decades working in commercials, talk shows, and children's projects before realizing his dream of the Muppets as "entertainment for everybody".[8] The popularity of his work on Sam and Friends in the late 1950s led to a series of guest appearances on network talk and variety shows. He appeared as a guest on many shows, including The Steve Allen Show, The Jack Paar Program, and The Ed Sullivan Show. (Sullivan introduced him as "Jim Newsom and his Puppets" on September 11, 1966.) These television broadcasts greatly increased his exposure, which led to hundreds of commercial appearances by Henson characters throughout the '60s.

Among the most popular of Henson's commercials was a series for the local Wilkins Coffee company in Washington, DC,[15] in which his Muppets were able to get away with a greater level of slapstick violence than might have been acceptable with human actors and eventually worked into many acts on The Muppet Show. In the first Wilkins ad, a Muppet named Wilkins is poised behind a cannon seen in profile. Another Muppet named Wontkins is in front of its barrel. Wilkins asks, "What do you think of Wilkins Coffee?" and Wontkins responds gruffly, "Never tasted it!" Wilkins fires the cannon and blows Wontkins away, then turns the cannon directly toward the viewer and ends the ad with, "Now, what do you think of Wilkins?" Henson later explained, "Till then, advertising agencies believed that the hard sell was the only way to get their message over on television. We took a very different approach. We tried to sell things by making people laugh."[16] The first seven-second commercial for Wilkins was an immediate hit and was syndicated and reshot by Henson for local coffee companies throughout the United States,[15] and he ultimately produced more than 300 coffee ads.[16] Henson sold the rights to the Wilkins' Coffee, who allowed marketing executive John T. Brady to sell the rights to some toymakers and film studios, but by July 1992 he sued by Jim Henson Productions for unfair competition in addition to copyright and trademark infringement.[17]

In 1963, Henson and his wife moved to New York City where the newly formed Muppets, Inc. resided for some time, and Henson lived there until his death. Jane quit performing to raise their children, and Henson hired writer Jerry Juhl in 1961 and puppet performer Frank Oz in 1963 to replace her.[18] Henson credited them both with developing much of the humor and character of his Muppets.[19] He and Oz developed a close friendship and a performing partnership that lasted until Henson's death; their teamwork is particularly evident in their portrayals of Bert and Ernie, Kermit and Miss Piggy, and Kermit and Fozzie Bear.[20]

Henson's talk show appearances culminated when he devised Rowlf, a piano-playing anthropomorphic dog that became the first Muppet to make regular appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show. Henson was so grateful for this break that he offered Jimmy Dean a 40-percent interest in his production company, but Dean declined, stating that Henson deserved all the rewards for his own work, a decision of conscience that Dean never regretted.[21] From 1963 to 1966, Henson began exploring filmmaking and produced a series of experimental films.[3][22] His nine-minute experimental film Time Piece was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1966. He produced The Cube in 1969. Around this time, he wrote the first drafts of a live-action movie script with Jerry Juhl which became Tale of Sand. The script remained in the Henson Company archives until it was adapted in the 2012 graphic novel Jim Henson's Tale of Sand.

Sesame Street: 1969Edit

In 1969, television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and her staff at the Children's Television Workshop were impressed by the quality and creativity of the Henson-led team, so they asked Henson and staff to work full-time on Sesame Street, a children's program for public television that premiered on National Educational Television on November 10, 1969. Part of the show was set aside for a series of funny, colorful puppet characters living on Sesame Street, including Grover, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, and Big Bird. Henson performed the characters of Ernie, game-show host Guy Smiley, and Kermit, who appeared as a roving television news reporter.

Henson's Muppets initially appeared separately from the realistic segments on the Street, but the show was revamped to integrate the two segments, placing much greater emphasis on Henson's work. Cooney frequently praised Henson's work, and PBS called him "the spark that ignited our fledgling broadcast service."[8] The success of Sesame Street also allowed him to stop producing commercials, and he said that "it was a pleasure to get out of that world".[15]

Henson was also involved in producing various shows and animation inserts during the first two seasons. He produced a series of counting films for the numbers 1 through 10 which always ended with a baker (voiced by Henson) falling down the stairs while carrying the featured number of desserts. He also worked on a variety of inserts for the numbers 2 through 12, including the films "Dollhouse", "Number Three Ball Film", the stop-motions "King of Eight", "Queen of Six", the cut-out animation "Eleven Cheer", and the computer animation "Nobody Counts To 10". He also directed the original "C Is For Cookie" and Tales from Muppetland, a short series of TV movie specials that were comic retellings of classic fairy tales aimed at a young audience and hosted by Kermit the Frog. The series included Hey, Cinderella!, The Frog Prince, and The Muppet Musicians of Bremen.

Expansion of audience: 1970–77Edit

Henson, Oz, and his team were concerned that the company was becoming typecast solely as purveyors of children's entertainment, so they targeted an adult audience with a series of sketches on the first season of the late-night live television variety show Saturday Night Live. Eleven Land of Gorch sketches were aired between October 1975 and January 1976 on NBC, with four additional appearances in March, April, May, and September 1976. Henson liked Lorne Michaels' work and wanted to be a part of it, but he ultimately concluded that "what we were trying to do and what his writers could write for it never gelled".[15] The SNL writers were not comfortable writing for the characters, and they frequently disparaged Henson's creations; Michael O'Donoghue quipped, "I won't write for felt."[23]

Henson began developing a Broadway show and a weekly television series both featuring the Muppets.[15] The American networks rejected the series in 1976, believing that Muppets would appeal only to a child audience. Then Henson pitched the show to British impresario Lew Grade to finance the show. The show would be shot in the United Kingdom and syndicated worldwide.[14] That same year, he scrapped plans for his Broadway show and moved his creative team to England, where The Muppet Show began taping. The show featured Kermit as host and a variety of other characters, notably Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Fozzie Bear, along with other characters such as Animal. Henson's teammates sometimes compared his role to that of Kermit: a shy, gentle boss with "a whim of steel"[20] who ran things like "an explosion in a mattress factory."[24] Caroll Spinney was the puppet performer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, and he remembered that Henson would never say he didn't like something. "He would just go 'Hmm.'… And if he liked it, he would say, 'Lovely!'"[7] Henson recognized Kermit as an alter ego, though he thought that Kermit was bolder than he; he once said of the character, "He can say things I hold back."[25]

Transition to the big screen: 1979–82Edit

The Muppets appeared in their first theatrical feature film The Muppet Movie in 1979. It was both a critical and financial success;[26] it made $65.2 million domestically and was the 61st highest-grossing film at the time.[27] Henson's idol Edgar Bergen died at age 75 during production of the film, and Henson dedicated it to his memory. Henson as Kermit sang "The Rainbow Connection", and it hit number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The Henson-directed The Great Muppet Caper (1981) followed, and Henson decided to end the Muppet Show to concentrate on making films,[6] though the Muppet characters continued to appear in TV movies and specials.

Henson also aided others in their work. The producers of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) asked him to aid make-up artist Stuart Freeborn in the creation and articulation of Yoda. He suggested that George Lucas use Frank Oz as the puppeteer and voice of Yoda, and Oz did so in it and the five subsequent Star Wars films. Lucas lobbied unsuccessfully to have Oz nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[28]

 
Henson and producer George Lucas working on Labyrinth in 1986

In 1982, Henson founded the Jim Henson Foundation to promote and develop the art of puppetry in the United States. Around that time, he began creating darker and more realistic fantasy films that did not feature the Muppets and displayed "a growing, brooding interest in mortality."[20] He co-directed The Dark Crystal (1982) with Frank Oz, "trying to go toward a sense of realism—toward a reality of creatures that are actually alive".[15] To provide a visual style distinct from the Muppets, the puppets in The Dark Crystal were based on conceptual artwork by Brian Froud, and it was a financial and critical success.

Oz directed The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) which grossed $25.5 million domestically and ranked one of the top 40 films of 1984.[29] Labyrinth (1986) was a fantasy that Henson directed by himself, but it was considered a commercial disappointment, despite some positive reviews; The New York Times called it "a fabulous film".[30] This demoralized Henson; his son Brian Henson described it as "the closest I've seen him to turning in on himself and getting quite depressed."[20] The film later became a cult classic.[31]

Final years: 1983–90Edit

Henson continued creating children's television, such as Fraggle Rock and the animated Muppet Babies. He also continued to address darker, more mature themes with the folk tale and mythology oriented show The Storyteller (1988), which won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program. The next year, he returned to television with The Jim Henson Hour which mixed lighthearted Muppet fare with more risqué material. It was critically well-received and won him another Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program, but it was canceled after 13 episodes due to low ratings. Henson blamed its failure on NBC's constant rescheduling.[32]

In late 1989, Henson entered into negotiations to sell his company to The Walt Disney Company for almost $150 million, hoping that he would "be able to spend a lot more of my time on the creative side of things" with Disney handling business matters.[32] By 1990, he had completed production on the television special The Muppets at Walt Disney World and the Walt Disney World attraction Muppet*Vision 3D, and he was developing film ideas and a television series entitled Muppet High.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Henson married Jane Nebel in 1959, and their children are Lisa (b. 1960), Cheryl (b. 1961), Brian (b. 1963), John (1965–2014),[33] and Heather (b. 1970).[34] Henson and his wife separated in 1986, although they remained close for the rest of his life.[7] Jane said that Jim was so involved with his work that he had very little time to spend with her or their children.[7] All five of his children began working with Muppets at an early age, partly because "one of the best ways of being around him was to work with him", according to Cheryl.[13][35] Henson was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement.[36]

Illness and deathEdit

Henson appeared with Kermit on The Arsenio Hall Show on May 4, 1990, and it was his final television appearance. He disclosed to his publicist that he was tired and had a sore throat, but he felt that it would soon go away. He then traveled to Ahoskie, North Carolina with his daughter Cheryl to visit his father and stepmother. They returned to their home in New York City the following day, and Henson cancelled a Muppet recording session that had been scheduled for May 14.[7] His estranged wife came to visit that night.

Henson was having trouble breathing at around 2 a.m. on May 15, and he began coughing up blood. He suggested to his wife that he might be dying, but he did not want to take time off from his schedule to visit a hospital. Two hours later, he agreed to be taken by taxi to the emergency room at New York Hospital in Manhattan. Shortly after admission, he stopped breathing and an X-ray revealed that he had abscesses in his lungs as a result of a previous bacterial infection. He was placed on a ventilator but he quickly deteriorated over the next several hours despite increasingly aggressive treatment with multiple antibiotics.

Henson died at age 53 on May 16, 1990, just over 20 hours after being admitted to New York Hospital. Dr. David Gelmont announced that Henson had died from Streptococcus pneumoniae, an infection that causes bacterial pneumonia.[8] However, he confirmed on May 29 that Henson's immediate cause of death was organ dysfunction resulting from streptococcal toxic shock syndrome caused by Streptococcus pyogenes.[4][5] News spread quickly and admirers of his work responded from around the world with tributes and condolences. Many of Henson's co-stars and directors from Sesame Street, the Muppets, and other works also shared their thoughts on his death.[37] On May 21, Henson's public memorial service was conducted in Manhattan at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Another was conducted on July 2 at St Paul's Cathedral in London. In accordance with Henson's wishes, no one in attendance wore black, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band finished the service by performing "When the Saints Go Marching In". Harry Belafonte sang "Turn the World Around", a song that he had debuted on The Muppet Show, as each member of the congregation waved a brightly colored foam butterfly attached to a puppet performer's rod.[38][39] Later, Big Bird walked onto the stage and sang Kermit's signature song "Bein' Green".[40] Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Frank Oz, Kevin Clash, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, and Richard Hunt sang a medley of Henson's favorite songs in their characters' voices, ending with a performance of "Just One Person".[41] The funeral was described by Life as "an epic and almost unbearably moving event".[20] Henson was cremated and his ashes were scattered in 1992 near Taos in New Mexico.[42]

LegacyEdit

The Jim Henson Company and the Jim Henson Foundation continued after his death, producing new series and specials. Jim Henson's Creature Shop also continues to build creatures for a number of projects, including the television series Farscape and films such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and MirrorMask; it is considered[by whom?] one of the most advanced and well respected special effects studios. Steve Whitmire joined the Muppets cast in 1978 and began performing Kermit the Frog six months after Henson's death.[43] He was dismissed from the Muppets cast in 2016, and Matt Vogel succeeded him as Kermit.[44]

On February 17, 2004, the Muppets and the Bear in the Big Blue House properties were sold to the Walt Disney Company,[45][46][47] and Sesame Workshop acquired the Sesame Street characters in 2000.[48]

One of Henson's last projects was the attraction Muppet*Vision 3D, which opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 16, 1991, exactly one year after his death. The Jim Henson Company retains the Creature Shop; as well as the rest of its film and television library including Fraggle Rock, Farscape, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.[49] Brian Jay Jones published a Henson biography on September 24, 2013, Henson's 77th birthday.[50]

TributesEdit

 
Disney artists Joe Lanzisero and Tim Kirk drew this tribute of Mickey Mouse consoling Kermit the Frog, which appeared in the Summer 1990 issue of WD Eye, Walt Disney Imagineering's employee magazine.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Film Director Producer Writer Actor Role Notes
1965 Time Piece Yes Yes Yes Yes Man
1979 The Muppet Movie No Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
Swedish Chef
Additional Muppets
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Yes No No Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
Swedish Chef
The Newsman
Additional Muppets
1982 The Dark Crystal Yes Yes Yes Yes Jen
skeZok/The Ritual Master
skeSo/The Emperor
Puppeteering only
Co-directed with Frank Oz
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan No Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
Swedish Chef
The Newsman
Ernie
Additional Muppets
Executive Producer
1985 Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird No No No Yes Ernie
Kermit the Frog
1986 Labyrinth Yes No Yes No
1991 Muppet*Vision 3D Yes No No Yes Kermit the Frog
Waldorf
The Swedish Chef
3D film attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios

TelevisionEdit

Year Film Director Producer Writer Actor Role Notes
1955–1961 Sam and Friends Yes No Yes Yes Sam
Harry the Hipster
Kermit the Frog
Professor Madcliffe
Omar
Yorick
Pierre the French Rat
Additional Muppets
1962 Tales of the Tinkerdee No Yes Yes Yes Kermit the Frog
Additional Muppets
Unaired
1963–1966 The Jimmy Dean Show No No No Yes Rowlf the Dog
1969 The Cube Yes Yes Yes No
1969 Hey, Cinderella! Yes No No Yes Kermit the Frog
Additional Muppets
1969–1990 Sesame Street Yes No Yes Yes Ernie
Kermit the Frog
Guy Smiley
Mahna Mahna
Dan
Henry
Lance
Captain Vegetable
Mr. Nose
The King
Stan
Harold Happy
Sammy the Snake
Additional Muppets
1971 The Frog Prince Yes Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Additional Muppets
1974 The Muppets Valentine Show Yes Yes No Yes Wally
Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Ernie
Additional Muppets
Executive Producer
1975 The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence Yes Yes Yes Yes Nigel
George Washington
The Swedish Chef
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
Kermit the Frog
Additional Muppets
1976–1981 The Muppet Show No Yes Yes Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
The Swedish Chef
Link Hogthrob
The Newsman
Additional Muppets
1977 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas Yes Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Harvey Beaver
Howard Snake
Mayor Harrison Fox
Television film
1978 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street No No No Yes Kermit the Frog
Ernie
1983–1987 Fraggle Rock Yes Yes Yes Yes Cantus the Minstrel
Convincing John
Executive Producer
1983 Big Bird in China No No No Yes Ernie Television film
Don't Eat the Pictures No No No Yes
1985 Little Muppet Monsters No No No Yes Kermit the Frog (live-action puppet only)
Dr. Teeth
1986 The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years No Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
The Swedish Chef
Link Hogthrob
Ernie
Harry the Hipster
Additional Muppets
Television film
Executive Producer
The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Yes Yes No Yes The Dog Television film
The Christmas Toy No Yes No Yes Jack-in-the-Box
Kermit the Frog
1987–1988 The Storyteller No Yes No No Executive Producer
1987 Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series No Yes No No
A Muppet Family Christmas No Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
Swedish Chef
The Newsman
Ernie
Guy Smiley
Baby Kermit
Baby Rowlf
Additional Muppets
Television film
Executive Producer
1988 Sing-Along, Dance-Along, Do-Along No Yes No Yes Rowlf the Dog
Penguins
Kermit the Frog
Entry in the Play-Along Video series
Executive Producer
1988–1989 Muppet Babies No Yes No No Executive Producer
1989 Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting No Yes No Yes Ernie
Kermit the Frog
Additional Muppets
Television film
Executive Producer
The Jim Henson Hour Yes Yes No Yes Himself
Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Additional Muppets
Executive Producer
1990 The Earth Day Special Yes No No Yes Kermit the Frog segment: "Kermit the Frog"
The Muppets at Walt Disney World No Yes No Yes Kermit the Frog
Rowlf the Dog
Dr. Teeth
Waldorf
Link Hogthrob
The Swedish Chef
Television film
Executive Producer

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Oscar's Letter Party Kermit the Frog
Let's Learn to Play Together Ernie
1991 Sesame Street Numbers Ernie
Kermit the Frog[74]
Voice only
Sesame Street Letters

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Jim's Red Book: Jim Henson Animating
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  28. ^ Finch (1993). p. 176.
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Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
None
Performer of Kermit the Frog
1955–1990
Succeeded by
Steve Whitmire
Preceded by
None
Performer of Ernie
1969–1990
Succeeded by
Steve Whitmire
Preceded by
None
Performer of Captain Vegetable
1982
Succeeded by
Richard Hunt
Preceded by
None
Performer of The Muppet Newsman
1976–1989
Succeeded by
Jerry Nelson
Preceded by
None
Performer of Link Hogthrob
1977–1990
Succeeded by
Steve Whitmire
Preceded by
None
Performer of Rowlf the Dog
1962–1990
Succeeded by
Bill Barretta
Preceded by
None
Performer of The Swedish Chef
1975–1990
Succeeded by
David Rudman
Preceded by
None
Performer of Dr. Teeth
1975–1990
Succeeded by
John Kennedy
Preceded by
None
Performer of Mahna Mahna
1969–1986
Succeeded by
Bill Barretta
Preceded by
None
Performer of Waldorf
1975–1990
Succeeded by
Dave Goelz
Preceded by
None
Performer of Guy Smiley
1969–1990
Succeeded by
Don Reardon