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Jim Henson

Jim Henson

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Also Known As: James Maury Henson Died: May 16, 1990
Born: September 24, 1936 Cause of Death: Organ Failure due to Streptococcus Pyogenes
Birth Place: Leland, Mississippi, USA Profession: producer, puppeteer, screenwriter, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As creator of The Muppets, those loveable fuzzy creatures that entertained millions of kids and adults for decades, Jim Henson was a true mastermind whose vision made many a childhood that much more memorable. With the creation of both "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show," among many other puppet-laden ventures, his iconic television programs and films managed to appeal to the kid in everyone. The quiet, unassuming puppeteer-producer-writer introduced an engaging cast of characters, innovative ideas, and a sense of timing and humor never before seen with puppets. He was also widely acknowledged on all fronts - professional, personal and familial - for an ongoing vision of faith, friendship, magic and love, which was infused in nearly all of his work. Even after his tragic and untimely death in 1990, those left behind would carry on this message, insuring that - much like Walt Disney - the name "Jim Henson" would continue to conjure up warm memories of Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Bert and Ernie for generations to come.

As creator of The Muppets, those loveable fuzzy creatures that entertained millions of kids and adults for decades, Jim Henson was a true mastermind whose vision made many a childhood that much more memorable. With the creation of both "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show," among many other puppet-laden ventures, his iconic television programs and films managed to appeal to the kid in everyone. The quiet, unassuming puppeteer-producer-writer introduced an engaging cast of characters, innovative ideas, and a sense of timing and humor never before seen with puppets. He was also widely acknowledged on all fronts - professional, personal and familial - for an ongoing vision of faith, friendship, magic and love, which was infused in nearly all of his work. Even after his tragic and untimely death in 1990, those left behind would carry on this message, insuring that - much like Walt Disney - the name "Jim Henson" would continue to conjure up warm memories of Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Bert and Ernie for generations to come.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Labyrinth (1986) Director
2.
  Dark Crystal, The (1982) Director
3.
  Great Muppet Caper, The (1981) Director
5.
  Story Short, A (1988) Creator
6.
  Hans My Hedgehog (1987) Creator
7.
9.
  Frog Prince (1971) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird (1985) Voice Of Ernie; Voice Of Kermit The Frog
2.
 Into The Night (1985) Man On Phone
3.
 The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) Voice Of Kermit The Frog/Rowlf/Dr Teeth/Swedish Chef/Waldorf
4.
 Dark Crystal, The (1982) Jen; Skeksis High Priest
5.
 Great Muppet Caper, The (1981) Voice Of Kermit The Frog/Rowlf/Dr Teeth/Waldorf
6.
 American Werewolf in London, An (1981) Voice Of Kermit The Frog
7.
 Muppet Movie, The (1979) Voice Of Kermit The Frog/Rowlf/Dr Teeth/Waldorf
8.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
While attending high school, he began working for WTOP-TV creating puppets for a Saturday morning children's show
1955:
Co-created (with future wife Jane) "Sam and Friends," a live-action puppet show for WRC-TV, a local station in Washington, D.C.; the show included a primitive version of what would become Kermit the Frog
:
Traveled through Europe for several months, where he was inspired by European puppeteers
1963:
Moved with wife to New York City and formed Muppets, Inc.
1963:
Began working with longtime collaborator Frank Oz, when he was hired to replace Henson┬┐s wife when she quit muppeteering to raise their children
1964:
Created Rowlf, a piano-playing anthropomorphic dog, who began making regular appearances on "The Jimmy Dean Show" (ABC)
1966:
Produced the nine-minute short-film "Time Piece"; earned an Academy Award nomination
1969:
Produced and directed "The Cube," an hour-long teleplay that aired on NBC's weekly anthology television show "NBC Experiment in Television"
1969:
Began working with the Children's Television Workshop to create several characters, such as Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, for the PBS show "Sesame Street"
1970:
Directed "Tales From Muppetland," a short series of TV movie specials hosted by Kermit the Frog
1975:
Produced a series of sketches on the first season of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
1976:
Created the syndicated primetime series "The Muppet Show," which introduced the memorable characters Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Fozzie Bear
1979:
Produced first feature starring his beloved characters, "The Muppet Movie"; also featured the Academy Award nominated song "The Rainbow Connection," sung by Henson as Kermit
1980:
Collaborated with make-up artist Stuart Freeborn and puppeteer Frank Oz in the creation of Jedi Master Yoda for the Star Wars film "The Empire Strikes Back"
1981:
Directed first feature "The Great Muppet Caper"
1982:
Founded the Jim Henson Foundation to promote and develop the art of puppetry in the U.S.
1982:
Co-directed the darker themed fantasy film "The Dark Crystal" with Frank Oz; also co-wrote
1983:
Returned to creating children's programming with the HBO series "Fraggle Rock"
1984:
Produced the Frank Oz directed "The Muppets Take Manhattan"
1984:
Created the animated series "Jim Henson's Muppet Babies" for CBS
1986:
Directed the fantasy film "Labyrinth," starring David Bowie and produced by George Lucas
1988:
Created the short-lived primetime series "The Storyteller"
1989:
Returned to television with the short-lived series "The Jim Henson Hour" (NBC)
1990:
Final project before his death was the NBC televison special "The Muppets at Walt Disney World"
1991:
Credited for the idea of the ABC TV series "Dinosaurs"
2011:
Credited for the characters featured in "The Muppets," starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Northwestern High School: Hyattsville , Maryland -
University of Maryland: College Park , Maryland - 1960

Notes

Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987

Henson's hometown Leland, Mississippi opened a mini-museum dedicated to Henson and the Muppets, August 28, 1991.

Posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991.

He was past president of the Puppeteers of America.

Henson served as president emeritus of the UNIMA (International Puppetry)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jane Nebel. Married on May 28, 1959.
wife:
Jane Nebel. Survived him.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Paul R Henson. Agronomist.
father:
Paul R Henson. Mother, Tracy Reed.
mother:
Elizabeth Henson. Two of them.
daughter:
Lisa Henson. Production vp. Born c. 1961.
daughter:
Lisa Henson. Has two; mother, Valerie.
daughter:
Cheryl Henson. Two of them.
daughter:
Cheryl Henson. Associated with Jim Henson Productions; executive producer of "Puppetry at the Public".
son:
Brian Henson. Survived him.
son:
Brian Henson. Executive. Appointed president of Jim Henson Productions January 1991.
son:
John Henson. Was married and divorced at least six times.
daughter:
Heather Henson. Had three; survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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