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Jim Henson
Henson dressed in a suit
Henson at the 1989 Emmy Awards
James Maury Henson

(1936-09-24)September 24, 1936
DiedMay 16, 1990(1990-05-16) (aged 53)
Cause of deathMultiple organ failure complicated by sepsis and pneumonia
EducationNorthwestern High School
Alma materUniversity of Maryland, College Park
Film director
Television producer
Years active1943–1990
Known forCreator of The Muppets
Board member ofJim Henson Foundation
The Jim Henson Company
Jim Henson's Creature Shop
Spouse(s)Jane Nebel
(1954-1964; separated)
ChildrenLisa Henson (born 1964)
Brian Henson (born 1966)
John Henson (born 1961)
Parent(s)Paul Ransom Henson
Betty Marcella (née Brown)
AwardsCourage Conscience Award
Emmy Award
Disney Legend Award

James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American artist, animator, puppeteer, and television. He was best known for his work with the Muppets, which he helped to create.[1]

Henson's best known puppet is Kermit the Frog. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, movies such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. He also made puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.


The Jim Henson Company and the Jim Henson Foundation continued after his death, making new series and specials. Jim Henson's Creature Shop, founded by Henson, also continues to build creatures for a large number of other movies and series (e.g. the science-fiction production Farscape, the movie adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the movie MirrorMask) and is said to be one of the most advanced and well respected creators of movie creatures.

His son Brian and daughter Lisa are the co-chairs and co-CEOs of the company. His daughter Cheryl is the president of the foundation. Steve Whitmire, a veteran member of the Muppet puppeteering crew, plays the roles of Kermit the Frog and Ernie, the most famous characters formerly played by Jim Henson.[2]

One of Henson's last projects is a show attraction in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. It is called Muppet*Vision 3D. It opened in 1991, shortly after his death.



  • Sam and Friends as Sam, Harry the Hipster, Kermit the Frog, Omar, Professor Madcliffe, Pierre the French Rat, Yorick, others
  • Sesame Street as Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Guy Smiley, Anything Muppets, an apple from "Bilingual Fruit Song", As I Was Going to St. Ives boy, Baby Monster (1969), Bad Bart, Barry Rhymie, Beautiful Day Monster, Beginning, Ben, Betty Lou (occasional), Big Jeffy (in a sketch where he demonstrates scatting), Billy Monster, Bip Bippadotta, Captain Vegetable, Charlie (occasionally), Dan, Father, Fenwick, Flakey, The Geefle, The Genie (1973), George Washington ("The American Revolution"), Grandmother Happy, Granny Fanny Nesselrode, Grover (1970 "Near & Far" sketch), Harold Happy, Harvey Monster (occasional), Henry, Herman the Hoppity-Hop, Herry Monster (1970), Hippie (1969), J Friend Singer, The King, King Gerry the Generous, King Peter the Persnickety, Lance, Lavender "Fat Cat" performer, Librarian, Little Bird (1969), Little Chrissy (puppetry), Lost & Found Clerk, Marvin, Maurice, Maurice, Maurice Monster (occasionally), Mr. Essex, Mr. Johnson (early segments), Mr. Nose, Old King Cole's Band Fat Blue fiddler & Pumpkin bass player, Pat Playjacks, Pokey, Salvador Dada, Sam, Sammy the Snake (1984), Scudge (1969), Showered Rosell, Sinister Sam, Sneaky, Spaceship Surprise Captain, Stan, Thomas Twiddlebug, Three Little Pigs, Tony, Warren Wolf, Witch, Yellow Submarine Fat Blue train engineer, Yip Yip Martians, Zizzy Zoomer
  • The Muppet Valetine Show as Wally, Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Ernie
  • The Muppet Show as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, The Newsman, Link Hogthrob, Mahna Mahna, Nigel, Balloon-Head Conductor, Beaver (217), Black Rooster (303), Blue Frackle (203), Brown Bear, 1 of the Bun-Bun Brother, Butch (416), Dancers, Doglion (224), Droop (115), The Eel (124), Flower-Eating Monster, 1 of the Fazoobs, Frog (puppetry), Fuzz Brother, 1 of the Gills Brother, Green Heap, Green Frackle (occasionally in season 1), Hillbilly Singer, Jim, Kermit the Protozoa, Lenny the Lizard (204), Lefty, Mary Louise (121), Mean Mama (203), Miss Kitty (113), 1 of the Muppaphone, The Newspig, Penguins (423), Pigs, Prairie Dogs, Robot Kermit, Rover Joe (occasional), The Scientist, Silver Beak, Slim Wilson (413), Timmy Monster (occasionally), Wally, Wally Whoopie, Whatnots, Zeke
  • Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas as Kermit the Frog, Harrison Fox, Harvey Beaver, Howard Snake
  • Christmas Eve on Sesame Street as Kermit the Frog and Ernie
  • The Muppet Movie as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef
  • The Great Muppet Caper as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, The Newsman
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, The Newsman, Ernie, Baby Kermit, Baby Rowlf, Penguins
  • Follow That Bird as Kermit the Frog and Ernie
  • The Christmas Toy as Jack-in-the-Box and Kermit the Frog
  • A Muppet Family Christmas as Kermit the Frog, Ernie, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, The Newsman, Guy Smiley, & a penguin
  • The Jim Henson Hour as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Link Hogthrob, The Swedish Chef, Timecaster, Teddy Bear, Garbage Bags, Timrek the Gorf, Screaming No-Nos, various demonstrations in "Secrets of the Muppets"
  • Sesame Street... 20 Years & Still Counting as Ernie and Kermit the Frog
  • The Muppets at Walt Disney World as Kermit the Frog, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, and Link Hogthrob
  • Sing Yourself Silly! as Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Lead Singer from One Banana


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