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James Maury "Jim" Henson was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, songwriter, musician, film director, and producer, who was best known as the creator of the Muppets and the founder of the Jim Henson Company, which is now run by his children.

He was known for performing some of his Muppet characters, such as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, the Swedish Chef, Waldorf, the Muppet Newsman, Link Hogthrob, and Mahna Mahna.

He also performed Ernie, Guy Smiley, and others on Sesame Street, Cantus the Minstrel and Convincing John on Fraggle Rock, and many other characters.

Death and legacy

In late 1989, Jim Henson made a radical change in his career. Wanting to become less of a businessman and focus more on the creative side of the production, he entered into talks with Michael Eisner to sell his company and characters (minus Sesame Street) to the Walt Disney Company. Two of his very last projects actually involved Walt Disney World in one way or another. On May 6, 1990, The Muppets at Walt Disney World premiered, as a special about the Muppets going to Kermit's home swamp and soon after, Walt Disney World. The other last project was Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3-D, a three-dimensional attraction currently located at Disney's Hollywood Studios. After Henson's sudden and untimely death, negotiations went awry, and Disney would not acquire the Muppets fully until February 2004, which it now controls through the wholly owned subsidiary The Muppets Studio.

Jim became infected with a very rare bacterium called Group A streptococcus in May 1990, which was discovered too late for him to receive any proper treatment. He died at 1:21 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 1990, approximately 20 hours & 23 minutes after checking himself into the emergency room at New York Hospital, not realizing how ill he really was. Steve Whitmire then took over for Kermit the Frog, only months after Jim passed away, then he took over for Ernie in 1993 to Frank Oz's Bert on Sesame Street. Waldorf, in 1992, had been taken over by Dave Goelz. Starting in 1991 the role of Dr. Teeth had been officially taken over by John Kennedy, however, the character only had made brief appearances with very little dialogue. However, following his death, Rowlf the Dog was kept completely silent until episode 2 of Muppets Tonight, on which Rowlf briefly broke his silence thanks to the vocal help of Bill Barretta, who now voices the Swedish Chef, Mahna Mahna, and Dr. Teeth, as of 2005.

According to FindAGrave.com, Henson was cremated and his ashes were scattered at his ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jim Henson's legacy is carried on in different forms today. Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children's Television Workshop) owns all the Sesame Street characters and continues to experiment with its format. However, in 2001, they lost the rights to Kermit, as he was mainly part of the Muppets. As noted, the Walt Disney Company owns the Muppet characters & continues to use them in new productions. Fortunately, the Jim Henson Company itself, under the guidance of Henson's children Brian, Lisa, & Cheryl, John, & Heather, continues to release new material, including Creature Shop films and original content.

In 2011, Jim Henson was posthumously awarded the Disney Legends award at the D23 Expo in 2011. His oldest son and daughter, Brian and Lisa, accepted it on his behalf.

Muppeteer Credits

Various logos


External links

v - e - d
The Muppets Logo.png
Television shows: Muppets TonightThe MuppetsMuppet BabiesMuppets NowThe Muppets Mayhem

Television specials: The Muppets at Walt Disney WorldStudio DC: Almost LiveA Muppets Christmas: Letters to SantaGood Luck CharlieMuppets Haunted Mansion
Movies: The Muppet Christmas CarolMuppet Treasure IslandThe Muppets' Wizard of OzThe MuppetsMuppets Most WantedMuppet Man
Video games: My Muppets ShowAnimal DrummerTap Tap MuppetsDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Albums: The Muppet Christmas Carol Story AlbumThe Muppet Christmas Carol soundtrackMuppet Treasure Island soundtrackBest of the MuppetsA Green and Red ChristmasA Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa soundtrackMuppets: The Green AlbumThe Muppets soundtrackMuppets Most Wanted soundtrackMuppets Most Wanted scoreLondon Music Works Perform Music From The MuppetsDisney Junior Music: Muppet BabiesMuppets Haunted Mansion soundtrack
Cancelled projects: America's Next MuppetMuppets Live Another Day

Disney Parks
Muppets CourtyardMidship Detective AgencyMuppet*Vision 3D

Entertainment: Here Come the MuppetsHollywood's Pretty WomanMuppet Mobile LabMuppets on Location: Days of Swine and RosesThe Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History
Restaurants: PizzeRizzoThe Great Gonzo's Pandemonium Pizza ParlorRegal Eagle Smokehouse
Shops: Stage 1 Company Store
Parade: Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade

Muppets: Kermit the FrogMiss PiggyFozzie BearGonzoAnimalRizzo the RatPepe the King PrawnStatler and WaldorfDr. Bunsen HoneydewBeakerScooterBean BunnyDr. TeethFloyd PepperJaniceZootRowlf the DogRobin the FrogThe Swedish ChefSam the EagleSweetumsBobo the BearPopsUncle DeadlyCamillaWaldo C. GraphicWalterClifford80's RobotThogSeymourLew ZealandLink HogthrobBeauregardMahna MahnaThe MoopetsConstantineDeniseSummer Penguin

Humans: GaryMaryDominic BadguyNadyaJean Pierre Napoleon

The Electric Mayhem Bus
The Muppet Movie: The Rainbow Connection

The Muppet Christmas Carol: ScroogeRoom in Your HeartGood King WenceslasOne More Sleep 'til ChristmasMarley and MarleyChairman of the BoardFozziwig's PartyWhen Love is GoneIt Feels Like ChristmasChristmas ScatBless Us AllThankful HeartWhen Love Is Found
Muppet Treasure Island: Treasure IslandShiver My TimbersSomething BetterSailing for AdventureCabin FeverBoom ShakalakaLove Led Us HereLove PowerLove Led Us Here
Muppet Treasure Island (Sing-Alongs): There Was an Old PirateI'm a RockReal PirateLet the Good Shine Out
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz: KansasWhen I'm With YouNap TimeThe Witch Is in the HouseCalling All MunchkinsGood Life
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa: Delivering ChristmasIt's All About HeartI Wish I Could Be Santa ClausMy Best Christmas Yet
The Muppets: The Muppet Show ThemeLife's a Happy SongPictures in My HeadMe and Julio Down by the SchoolyardWe Built This CityMe PartyLet's Talk About MeMan or MuppetSmells Like Teen SpiritForget YouThe Whistling Caruso
Muppets Most Wanted: The Muppet Show ThemeWe're Doing a SequelI'm Number OneThe Big HouseI'll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)Interrogation SongMy Heart Will Go OnSomething So RightWorking in the Coal MineTogether AgainMoves Like JaggerMacarena
Muppet Babies: Muppet Babies Theme
Muppets Haunted Mansion: Rest in PeaceLife HereafterTie the Knot TangoDancing in the Moonlight

See also
The Muppets