Jim Henson

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James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer best known as the creator of The Muppets. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, films such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and creator of advanced puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. He was also an Oscar-nominated film director, Emmy Award-winning television producer, and the founder of The Jim Henson Company, the Jim Henson Foundation, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He died of Streptococcus pyogenes on May 16, 1990.

Henson, who was born in Mississippi, and educated at University of Maryland, College Park, was one of the most widely known puppeteers in history.[1]. He created Sam and Friends as a freshman in College Park. After suffering struggles with programs that he created, he eventually was selected to participate in Sesame Street. During this time, he also participated in the comedy series Saturday Night Live. The success of Sesame Street spawned The Muppet Show, which featured Muppets created by Henson. He also created the television show Dinosaurs during his final years. In 1992, he received the prestigious Courage of Conscience Award from The Peace Abbey.


Early life

The younger of two boys, Jim Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, on September 24, 1936. His parents were Betty Marcella (née Brown) and Paul Ransom Henson, an agronomist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.[2][3] He was raised as a Christian Scientist and spent his early childhood in Leland, Mississippi, moving with his family to Hyattsville, Maryland, near Washington, DC, in the late 1940s.[4][5] He later remembered the arrival of the family's first television as "the biggest event of his adolescence,"[6] having been 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.[6]

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