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Brian Henson

Brian Henson

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: executive, producer, puppeteer, voice actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Brian Henson, the son of famed Muppets creator Jim Henson, was rushed into his father's position as head of the company when the elder Henson died unexpectedly in 1990 at age 53. Since then, the third of five children and eldest son has forged the Henson-Disney relationship (Jim Henson had sold out to Disney in the 80s) and has won mostly applause for both invigorating the Muppets franchise and branching out into new areas, such as the Emmy-winning NBC miniseries "Gulliver's Travels" (1996). As a teenager, Henson began working for his father, doing puppet work on "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981). He continued working with the company after dropping out of the University of Colorado, toiling as puppeteer on such films as "Return to Oz" (1985), "Santa Clause: The Movie" (1985), "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986) and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1989). But Henson was 27 with virtually no producing credits when he was thrust into the presidency of the family company. There were several difficult years and many in the business thought him ill-equipped for the role, or simply as green as Kermit the Frog. Henson proved them wrong and has a resume brimming with credits of his own. In 1990, he won a Daytime...

Brian Henson, the son of famed Muppets creator Jim Henson, was rushed into his father's position as head of the company when the elder Henson died unexpectedly in 1990 at age 53. Since then, the third of five children and eldest son has forged the Henson-Disney relationship (Jim Henson had sold out to Disney in the 80s) and has won mostly applause for both invigorating the Muppets franchise and branching out into new areas, such as the Emmy-winning NBC miniseries "Gulliver's Travels" (1996).

As a teenager, Henson began working for his father, doing puppet work on "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981). He continued working with the company after dropping out of the University of Colorado, toiling as puppeteer on such films as "Return to Oz" (1985), "Santa Clause: The Movie" (1985), "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986) and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1989). But Henson was 27 with virtually no producing credits when he was thrust into the presidency of the family company. There were several difficult years and many in the business thought him ill-equipped for the role, or simply as green as Kermit the Frog. Henson proved them wrong and has a resume brimming with credits of his own. In 1990, he won a Daytime Emmy for directing an episode of a children's series "Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories" (The Disney Channel) and also served as executive producer, episodic director, and puppeteer on the ABC series "Dinosaurs" (1990-93), executive produced the short-lived series "Jim Henson's Dog City" (Fox, 1992), and "Jim Henson's Secret Life of Toys" (The Disney Channel, 1994). In 1996, Henson oversaw the critically praised but short-lived "Aliens in the Family" (ABC), a sort of intergalactic "The Brady Bunch" wherein an earthling and an extraterrestrial marry and raise their bi-planet brood of kids. Also that year, The Muppets returned to TV prominence with "Muppets Tonight!" (ABC).

Henson first produced and directed for the big screen with "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992) and performed similar duties on "Muppets Treasure Island" (1996). Breaking away from Kermit and Miss Piggy, the company produced "Buddy" (1997) about a socialite (Rene Russo) who raises a gorilla as her son.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Muppet Treasure Island (1996) Director
2.

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) Muppet Performer
3.
 Muppets From Space (1999) Voice Of Dr Phil Van Neuter/Sal Minella
4.
 Labyrinth (1986) Voice Of Hoggle
5.
 Labyrinth (1986) Hoggle
6.
 Return to Oz (1985) Voice
7.
 Return to Oz (1985) Jack Pumpkinhead
8.
 Great Muppet Caper, The (1981) Voice
10.
 Hans My Hedgehog (1987) Voice Of Storyteller'S Dog
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1981:
Began in family business as a puppeteer on "The Great Muppet Caper"
1985:
Voiced characters and was puppeteer on the feature "Return to Oz"
1987:
Worked as puppeteer on NBC series "The Story Teller"
1989:
Was puppeteer on feature "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
1990:
Named president of Jim Henson Productions after father's death
1990:
Directed "Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories" for The Disney Channel; won Daytime Emmy
1990:
Served as executive producer on "Dinosaurs" (ABC); voiced several characters
1992:
Produced and directed "The Muppet Christmas Carol," first Muppets film since Jim Henson's death
1996:
Helmed "Muppet Treasure Island"
1996:
Executive produced ABC series "Aliens in the Family"
1996:
Was executive producer of NBC miniseries "Gulliver's Travels"; won Emmy
1996:
Was executive producer of "Muppets Tonight!" (ABC)
1999:
Produced feature film "Muppets from Space"
1999:
Produced Australian sci-fi series "Farscape" (aired on Sci Fi Channel in U.S.)
2005:
Executive produced "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" (ABC)
2008:
Executive produced and directed animated series "Sid the Science Kid" (PBS Kids)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Colorado: Boulder , Colorado -
Phillips Andover Academy: Andover , Massachusetts -

Notes

"Things were very bad for awhile (after Jim Henson's death). I don't feel like I'm wearing the mantle." --Brian Henson in People, May 13, 1991.

"My father was very imaginative. I was encouraged to create my own toys ... I never really talked with him about whether I would take over someday. I just want to continue being entertaining and innovative like he was. We're trying to keep his vision alive." --Henson in Daily News, February 2, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ellis Flyte. Designer. Together since 1983; married in 1990.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jim Henson. Muppets creator. Died in 1990 at age 53.
mother:
Jane Henson. Divorced from Jim Henson in 1986.
sister:
Lisa Henson. Film executive, producer. Older.
sister:
Cheryl Henson. Oversees Henson interest in "Sesame Street"; older.
brother:
John Henson. Art director, puppeteer. Younger.
sister:
Heather Henson. Younger.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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