JIM HENSON (September 24th, 1936 - May 16th, 1990) was the creator of the Muppets. He was also the performer behind many of the troupe’s most famous characters, including Kermit the Frog, Ernie, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Mahna Mahna, Waldorf, Link Hogthrob, Thomas Twiddlebug, The Swedish Chef, The Newsman, Guy Smiley, Convincing John & Cantus the Minstrel.
JAMES MAURY HENSON was born in Greenville, Mississippi on September 24th, 1936, the younger of 2 boys, the older being his brother Paul Jr.. His parents were Betty Marcella (née Brown) & Paul Ransom Henson, an agronomist for the US Department of Agriculture. 10 years later, in 1946, Paul Sr. moved the family to Hyattsville, Maryland, a suburb near Washington, D.C.. Henson, while growing up, loved watching Disney films & movies with comic legends like Bob Hope & George Burns. & enjoyed listening to such radio acts as Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy. He would grow up to pay tribute to & work w/ many of these same legends. Henson graduated as a member of the National Honor Society from Northwestern Senior High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, on June 14th, 1954.
HENSON made his earliest foray into TV puppetry friend & 1st puppeteering partner, Russell Wall in the summer of 1954. The 2 created & performed the puppets Pierre the French Rat & Longhorn & Shorthorn for The Junior Morning Show on local station WTOP. Although the show lasted only 3 weeks before being canceled, Henson quickly landed a puppeteering job on the show Afternoon at NBC affiliate WRC-TV.
In 1955, while a college student at the University of Maryland, WRC-TV offered Henson his own show, resulting in the creation of Sam & Friends. The 5-minute shows aired live twice a day after the news, & often involved the puppets lip-synching to a comedy or novelty record. Henson’s co-puppeteer was the woman who would later become his wife, Jane Nebel. They wed on May 28th, 1959 . Of the cast of characters created for this series, only Kermit the Frog would remain as a major figure with JIM HENSON for later productions.
JIM HENSON made several important innovations in terms of how puppets were used on TV. The 1st is that he did away with tiny 1-hand puppets whose heads only bobbed when they talked, preferring instead to use puppets with moving mouths & often real hands. The 2nd innovation was to get rid of the stage that all puppets on TV hid behind, just as they did in conventional theater. He wisely realized that the TV screen itself is the stage. Freeing the puppets from the simple constrictions of the past, Henson found that the characters were able to move around their environment in a much more imaginative & exciting way.
Beginning in the late 1950s, while still producing Sam & Friends, Henson kept his fledgling company afloat by using his puppets in the early TV commercials. Several new Early forays included Wilkins & Wontkins & other characters for local companies, under the name "Muppets Inc.", formed in 1958. But not too before then, most unfortunately, his brother Paul was killed in a car crash in 1956 when Jim was 19 years of age. By the 1960s, the burgeoning Muppets Inc. had expanded to national campaigns, & 1 of the characters created for these commercials was Rowlf the Dog. Rowlf helped Henson get nationwide attention for the 1st time by appearing in regular comedy bits on The Jimmy Dean Show. This led to increased appearances by the Muppets on variety shows & talk shows, including Today & The Ed Sullivan Show.
During this same time, JIM HENSON both met & hired 2 more people who would become enormously important to his work: FRANK OZ, who had once been referred to by JIM as "absolutely the greatest puppeteer in the world", who, sooner or later, become Jim’s best friend in the world, & Jerry Juhl, who would have a hand in writing nearly every Muppet production for 35 years. In 1962, Don Sahlin also joined the Muppets, building Rowlf the Dog & laying the foundations for the Muppet Workshop. Apart from puppetry, Henson also experimented as an animator & filmmaker, with such films as the 1965 Academy Award nominated short Time Piece (which Jim had also wrote, directed, & starred in), several comedic industrial films (paving the way for the Muppet Meeting Films), the documentary Youth '68, & the hour-long experimental drama The Cube in 1969.
In 1969, Joan Ganz Cooney & the newly-formed Children’ s Television Workshop approached Henson about possibly creating & performing puppets on a new show aimed at pre-schoolers. The show would become SESAME STREET, & soon it introduced viewers to such memorable characters as BIG BIRD, OSCAR THE GROUCH, Count von Count, Ernie & Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover & eventually Elmo as well.
Jim Henson was initially reluctant to use his characters on an educational kids' series, for fear of being typecast as a children's entertainer. However, Joan Ganz Cooney, once remarked that while the show's creative team had a collective brilliance, Henson was the only "individual genius.": "He was our era's Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, W.C. Fields & The Marx Brothers," Cooney said "& indeed he drew from all of them to create a new art form that influenced popular culture around the world."
By the late 1970s/early 1980s, Henson became more involved w/ other projects & he mainly just voiced his characters in inserts rather than in main street plots. But he was still involved in related productions, voicing his characters in the 1st SESAME STREET movie, Follow That BIRD, performing his characters' voices in various SESAME STREET Live shows, & also performing in Christmas Eve on SESAME STREET, BIG BIRD in China, DON’T Eat the Pictures, The SESAME STREET Special, & SESAME STREET: 20 & Still Counting. In the last production mentioned, Henson also appeared as himself in 2 scenes. He was also interviewed on The SESAME STREET Experiment & SESAME STREET Remembers Joe Raposo & His Music Sing!.
JIM HENSON’s last segments for the show were taped on November 21st, 1989. His later performances include a SESAME STREET News Flash segment in which Kermit interviews a bird whose parents live in different trees, Kermit’s song "I Wonder 'Bout the World Above Up There" & Ernie’s song "Don't Throw That Trash on the Ground".
JIM HENSON always felt puppetry should be for all ages, including adults, & he was frustrated that SESAME STREET, even w/ its appeal to adults, was still children's programming. The Muppets were labeled "kiddie entertainment" by network executives. His agent Bernie Brillstein got him as an act on season 1 of the groundbreaking SNL w/ the The Land of Gorch, but w/ the content not written by his staff & w/ certain cast members annoyed of sharing the show w/ puppets, Henson just never felt right there. Fortunately, he received another break when Lord Lew Grade invited him to produce a proposed half-hour show in England. The resulting Muppet Show became 1 of the greatest, most successful TV shows of all. &, in addition to Kermit the Frog as the host, the show featured characters that would quickly become household names, such as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Rizzo the Rat, Statler & Waldorf, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker, & Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem.
Performers who eventually joined Henson’s ever-growing team during this period include DAVE GOELZ, STEVE WHITMIRE, Jim Henson’s right-hand man performing some of his own Muppet characters, (as well as, following Henson's unfortunate very tragic death, HENSON’s eventual successor for Ernie, The Muppet Newsman, Kermit the Frog & Link Hogthrob) & Louise Gold.
HENSON created another innovation starting w/ The Muppet Show: from now on, all productions would be platformed up, so that humans could move about freely & interact convincingly w/ the Muppet characters, while the Muppeteers could remain easily hidden, & move about their environment w/ even greater fluidity than before.
In 1979, Jerry Juhl described Henson’s unique working style in an article about the making of "The Muppets Go Hollywood special: "The [production assistants] are running around screaming, 'How are we ever going to do all this?' & Jim is wandering around in the middle of it all, perfectly calm, perfectly content. You go to him & ask, 'How's it going?' & he says, 'Oh, fine. There were hardly any airplanes overhead when we filmed Miss Piggy by the pool.' He's just like Kermit -- if The Muppet Show had a basketball team, the score would always be Frog 99, Chaos 98." 
The Muppet Show was so successful that it spawned 3 movies during Henson’s lifetime (& more since): The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, & The Muppets Take Manhattan. Each film provided him w/ further opportunities to break technological barriers, including letting Kermit ride a bike.
In 1983, Henson introduced a new show for children called Fraggle Rock. The show was concerned w/ promoting understanding across cultures & around the world, a subject that was very important to him. Henson was the guiding force in developing the concept for the series, which began with his own notes for "The Woozle World" scribbled on a small pad. Later, in collaboration w/such team members as Jerry Juhl & Jocelyn Stevenson, this extended to specific personality details coining & character names (with Boober named after a cow encountered by Henson’s daughters). As Henson defined the series' purpose in that 1st draft, "What the show is really about is people getting along with other people, & understanding the delicate balance of the natural world. These are topics that can be dealt with in a symbolic way, which is what puppets basically do all the time." From the beginning, HENSON also insisted that the show be tailored for different countries, so that the message about brotherhood & understanding conflicting cultures could be spread to as many nations as possible. This led to co-productions, with involvements ranging from completely new frame sequences tailored to each nation to unique Uncle Traveling Matt postcard inserts, to simple dialogue dubs.
Although very much involved in the series as the creator, & serving as a director on several episodes, by this point JIM HENSON was becoming increasingly "hands-off" as a performer & beginning to look at ambitious "realistic" puppet projects, instead assigning the regular roles to The Muppet Show veterans as well as up-&-comers & Canadian talent. However, his very occasional appearances on Fraggle Rock showcased 2 scene-stealing characters, the enigmatic, "implacably calm" Cantus the Minstrel, who represented Henson’s Zen-like beliefs & musical interests, & the flamboyant, fast-talking Convincing John, representing Henson’s more frenetic, showman qualities.
Never 1 to rest on his laurels, HENSON moved on to an even more ambitious project. With the help of fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, he created a Tolkien-like world for the film The Dark Crystal. This production was entirely populated by extremely detailed, realistic-looking puppets -- a major breakthrough & change from the (intended) cartoony look of the earlier Muppets. Though an initial box-office failure, The Dark Crystal later developed a following as a widely respected cult film.
Based on what he & his team learned from their experiences on The Dark Crystal, JIM HENSON founded the Creature Shop to create new characters both for HENSON movies & for outside productions. In-house productions during his lifetime included Labyrinth & The StoryTeller, while outside productions included Dreamchild, The Bear, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & The Witches.
HENSON & OZ’s friendship
After working together for so many years, every 1 of HENSON’s fellow Muppeteers eventually grew very close to him in no time at all. However, the Muppeteer it is clear he was always closest w/ was FRANK OZ cause of the incredible partnership & friendship that they shared. There have been countless occasions where HENSON’s characters were paired up w/ OZ’s characters. While it was actually RICHARD HUNT who voiced Statler to JIM HENSON’s Waldorf, (the famous hecklers from The Muppet Show), the friendship that HENSON & OZ shared was the best in the whole Muppet business. At his Memorial Service, 5 short days after JIM’s death, FRANK speaks of a Christmas gift JIM had personally given him, which he had apparently named "BERT in Self-Contemplation". He starts to cry but manages to say "I think that's when I knew, he loved me & I loved him, which then makes OZ start crying.
- Ernie/Cookie Monster
- Ernie/Beautiful Day Monster
- Ernie/Professor Hastings
- Ernie/Lefty the Salesman
- Ernie/Fred (monster)
- Ernie/Harvey Kneeslapper
- Ernie/Fozzie Bear
- Kermit the Protazoa/Fozzie Amoeba
- Kermit the Frog/Bert
- Kermit the Frog/Pinocchio
- Kermit the Frog/Harvey Kneeslapper
- Kermit the Frog/Aladdin
- Kermit the Frog/T-Shirt Salesman
- Kermit the Frog/The Cat
- Kermit the Frog/Prince Charming
- Kermit the Frog/The Pied Piper
- Kermit the Frog/The Little Bad Wolf
- Kermit the Frog/Augustine Washington
- Kermit the Frog/Lamont the Dog
- Kermit the Frog/Professor Hastings
- Kermit the Frog/The Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe
- Kermit the Frog/Grover
- Kermit the Frog/Cookie Monster
- Kermit the Frog/Beautiful Day Monster
- Kermit the Frog/Marvin Suggs
- Kermit the Frog/Sam the Eagle
- Kermit the Frog/Miss Piggy
- Kermit the Frog/Fozzie Bear
- Kermit the Frog/Animal
- Kermit the Frog/Humpty Dumpty
- Kermit the Frog/The Woodsman
- Kermit the Frog/The Tortoise
- Kermit the Frog/Gawain
- Kermit the Frog/Bruce Rumpelstiltskin
- Kermit the Frog/Splurge
- Kermit the Frog/The Encyclopedia Salesman
- Dr. Teeth/Animal
- Dr. Teeth/Sam the Eagle
- Dr. Teeth/Fozzie Bear
- Dr. Teeth/Miss Piggy
- Dr. Teeth/Mildred Huxtetter
- The Mechanical Wind-up TV Show Host/Miss Piggy
- Green Heap/Purple Heap
- Roberta/Rocky's Mother (w/ Jerry Nelson's Rocky)
- Tony/2 large Monsters in the song "I'm Between"
- Tony/Beautiful Day Monster
- Rowlf the Dog/Fozzie Bear
- Rowlf the Dog/Miss Piggy
- Rowlf the Dog/Sam the Eagle
- Rowlf the Dog/Marvin Suggs
- Rowlf the Dog/Gorgon Heap (once in The Muppet Show Episode 103; Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Disappearing Clues)
- Thomas Twiddlebug/Tessie Twiddlebug
- Herry Monster/Cookie Monster
- Maurice Monster/Grover
- Guy Smiley/Grover
- Guy Smiley/Cookie Monster
- Guy Smiley/Beautiful Day Monster
- Guy Smiley/Sally Screamer
- Guy Smiley/Mrs. Rooney
- Guy Smiley/Frances Oznowicz
- Guy Smiley/Jascha Lombardi
- Guy Smiley/Tooth
- Guy Smiley/Baskerville the Hound
- Guy Smiley/Lucy Jones
- Guy Smiley/Farmer Frankie
- Guy Smiley/Cloud
- Guy Smiley/Lefty the Salesman
- Guy Smiley/Scudge
- Guy Smiley/Professor Hastings
- The Newsman/Sam the Eagle
- Little Bird/Baskerville the Hound
- Little Bird/Beautiful Day Monster
- Little Bird/Lucy Jones
- Maurice/Pumpkin Anything Muppet in "I Want to Hold Your Ear"
- Wally Whoopie/Fozzie Bear
- The Swedish Chef/Dough
- The Swedish Chef/Miss Piggy
- The Swedish Chef/Sam the Eagle
- The Swedish Chef/Animal
- The Swedish Chef/Fozzie Bear
- Link Hogthrob/Miss Piggy
- Link Hogthrob/Fozzie Bear
- Link Hogthrob/Animal
- Link Hogthrob/Marvin Suggs
- Waldorf/Cookie Monster
- Waldorf/Fozzie Bear
- Jim/Frank (with Jerry Nelson’s Jerry)
- Nigel/Sam the Eagle
- Mahna Mahna/The Snowths
- Mahna Mahna/Grump
- Sinister Sam/Doc Holiday
- As I Was Going to St. Ives Anything Muppets:
- King Peter the Persnickety/Princess Penelope
- Howard Snake/Chuck Stoat
- Lance/Little Miss Muffet
- Flakey/Snow White
- Pokey/Snow White
- Sneaky/Snow White
- The Genie/Cookie Monster
- George Washington/Teddy Roosevelt (Mount Rushmore)
- Harold Happy/Helen Happy
- Grandmother Happy/Helen Happy
- Harvey Monster/Clancy
- The King/The Tallest Person in the Kingdom
- The King/The Smallest Person in the Kingdom
- Freddy Smith/Grover (as Super Grover)
- Ernie/Cookie Monster
- Kermit the Frog/Miss Piggy
- Kermit the Frog/Fozzie Bear
- Kermit the Frog/Grover
- Kermit the Frog/Sam the Eagle
- The Swedish Chef/Fozzie Bear (I Love Lucy Movie Mania Screen Test)
JIM HENSON continued to innovate with the creation of the computer-generated puppet character Waldo C. Graphic for The JIM HENSON Hour in 1989. Years before the widespread use of CGI & the rise of Pixar Animation Studios, HENSON had a computerized character interacting with Muppets on a weekly TV show. A Muppeteer could perform the character in real time with the other Muppets, thanks to the HENSON Performance Control System. Waldo would later have a prominent role in Muppet*Vision 3D.
On The JIM HENSON Hour, JIM HENSON appeared as himself in introductions & closings for the show. He hosted JIM HENSON Hour pitch tape & The Secrets of the Muppets. JIM HENSON also won an Emmy for directing 1 special featured in this series, Dog City. Even though most of his major characters from The Muppet Show made at least 1 appearance on The JIM HENSON Hour, JIM didn't perform any new recurring characters in the series.
HENSON’s Death & Legacy
In late 1989, JIM HENSON made a radical change in his career. Wanting to become less of a businessman & focus more on the creative side of the production, he entered into talks w/ Michael Eisner to sell his company & characters (minus SESAME STREET) to the Walt Disney Company. Negotiations went awry after Henson’s sudden & UNtimely death, & Disney didn’t acquire the Muppets till February 2004, which it now controls through the wholly owned subsidiary The Muppets Studio.
JIM became infected w/ a very rare bacterium called Group A streptococcus   in May 1990 that was, very tragically, discovered too late for him to actually receive all the proper treatment. The most horrible tragedy of the Muppet World actually happened. The Great JAMES MAURY HENSON tragically passed away at 1:21 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16th, 1990, approximately 20 hours & 23 minutes after checking himself into the emergency room at New York Hospital, not realizing just how sick he was. HENSON’s right hand man, 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 he broke that silence thanks to the vocal help of BILL BARRETTA, who now performs The Swedish Chef, Mahna Mahna & Dr. Teeth, as of 2005, as well as Rowlf the Dog, primarily ever since 1996on Muppets Tonight. Guy Smiley, startin in 2005, has been taken over by ERIC JACOBSON, who happens to be FRANK OZ’s primary successor. Most of HENSON's main Muppet Show characters have been inherited by both STEVE WHITMIRE & BILL BARRETTA in recent productions, including 2011’s The Muppets.
JIM HENSON's legacy is carried on in different forms today. SESAME Workshop (once the Children's Television Workshop) owns all the Sesame Street characters & continues to experiment with its format. However, in 2001, they lost the rights to Kermit the Frog since he is mainly part of the Muppet gang. 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: Lisa, & Cheryl, Brian & Heather(John Henson died of a sudden massive heart attack on February 14, 2014), continues to release new material, including Creature Shop films & original content.
- John Kennedy: Muppets on Location: Days of Swine & Roses (1991), Muppet Treasure Island video game (1996), Muppets from Space (1999), Muppet RaceMania video game (2000), We Are Family music video (2002), Muppets Party Cruise video game (2003)
- Bill Barretta: The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) - present
- Waldorf: The Muppet Show: Sex & Violence (1975) - The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990) (taken from us on Wednesday, May 16th, 1990)
- Sam & Friends: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Sam, Professor Madcliffe, Harry the Hipster, Omar, Pierre the French Rat, Yorick, many others
- Commercials: Clown-Grabber, Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Scoop & Skip, Wilkins & Wontkins, Mack, Baskerville the Hound, Delbert the La Choy Dragon (voice), Mert, Sir Linit, The Southern Colonel, Arnold, Fred, Nutty Bird, Sour Bird, Kenner Gooner Bird, Boy Twin, Tommy & Fred, Sneegle
- Tales of the Tinkerdee: Charlie the Ogre
- TV Appearances: The Floating Face
- The Ed Sullivan Show: Amanda, Beautiful Day Monster, Talking Machine, Business Business Creatures (Blue Monster, Orange Creature), Conrad Love, Dasher, Donner, The Glutton, Thudge, proto-Cookie Monster.
- The Wizard of Id: The Wizard, The Spook
- The Great Santa Claus Switch: Fred the Elf, Lothar
- Sesame Street: 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 (occasionally) , Big Jeffy (in a sketch where he demonstrates scatting), Billy Monster, Bip Bippadotta, Captain Vegetable, Charlie (occasionally), Dan, Ernie (1969 - 1990), Father, Fenwick, Flakey, Freddy Smith, The Geefle, The Genie (1973), George Washington (The American Revolution), Grandmother Happy, Grover (1970 "Near & Far" sketch), Guy Smiley (1969 - 1990), Harold Happy, Harvey Monster (occasionally), Henry, Herman the Hoppity-Hop, Herry Monster (1970), Hippie (1969), J Friend Singer, Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), The King, King Gerry the Generous, King Peter the Persnickety, Lance, Lavender "Fat Cat" performer, Librarian, Little Bird (1969), Little Chrissy (Muppetry), Lost & Found Clerk, Marshal McClean, Marvin, 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 (in 1986 paired up with Carol Channing) (YouTube) (YouTube) (YouTube) , Scudge (1969), Showered Rosell, Sinister Sam, Sneaky, 1 of the Singing Dentists (Muppetry), Spaceship Surprise Captain, Stan (police officer), Thomas Twiddlebug, 1 of the 3 Little Pigs, Tony, The Two-Headed Monster's Mother Warren Wolf, Witch, Yellow Submarine Fat Blue train engineer, Yip Yip Martians, Zizzy Zoomer
- Tales from Muppetland
- Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass: Gonzo the Great (non-speaking) & Hoggie Marsh
- Muppet Meeting Films: Leo, Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990) (1975 appearance)
- Cher (1975 - "Something" musical number): Sweetums
- The Muppet Show : Sex & Violence: George Washington, Hudson, Nigel, Waldorf (1975 - 1990), Dr . Teeth (1975 - 1990) & Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990)
- The Muppet Show characters: Accordion Player, Balloon-Head Conductor, Beaver (episode 217: Julie Andrews), Black Rooster (episode 303: Roy Clark), Blue Frackle (episode 203: Milton Berle), Brown Bear, 1 of the Bun- Bun Brothers, Butch (episode 416: Jonathan Winters), Dancers, Doglion (episode 224: Cloris Leachman), Droop (episode 115: Candice Bergen), Dr . Teeth (1975 - 1990), The Eel (episode 124: Mummenschanz), Flower-Eating Monster, Fazoob, Frogs (Muppetry), Fuzz Brother, Gills Brother, Green Heap, Green Frackle (occasionally in season 1), Hillbilly Singer, Jim, Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Kermit the Protozoa, Lenny the Lizard (episode 204 : Rich Little), Link Hogthrob (1977 - 1990), Lefty, Mahna Mahna, Mary Louise (episode 121: Twiggy), Mean Mama (episode 203: Milton Berle), Miss Kitty (episode 113), 1 of the Muppaphone, The Newsman (1977 - 1990), The Newspig, Nigel (1975 - 1976), Penguins (episode 423: Carol Channing), Pigs, Prairie Dogs, Robot Kermit, Rover Joe (occasionally), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), The Scientist, Silver Beak, Slim Wilson (episode 413: Dizzy Gillespie), The Swedish Chef ((1975 - 1990), Timmy Monster (occasionally), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), Wally, Wally Whoopie, Whatnots, Zeke (1977 - 1978, 1983)
- SNL: King Ploobis
- Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Harrison Fox, Harvey Beaver, Howard Snake
- Fraggle Rock: Cantus the Minstrel & Convincing John
- The Dark Crystal: SkekZok (Muppetry), Jen (Muppetry), SkekSo (Muppetry)
- Christmas Eve on Sesame Street: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990) & Ernie (1969 - 1990
- The Muppet Movie: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Ernie (1969 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990) & The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990)
- The Great Muppet Caper: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990), & The Newsman (1976 - 1990)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Ernie (1969 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990), The Newsman (1976 - 1990), Baby Kermit, Baby Rowlf, Penguins
- Follow That Bird: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Ernie (1969 - 1990)
- Playhouse Video: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), The Swedish Chef
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Ernie (1969 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990)
- The Christmas Toy: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990) & Jack-in-the-Box (Uncredited)
- Labyrinth: 1 of the Goblins (Muppetry)
- The Tale of the Bunny Picnic: Dog
- A Muppet Family Christmas: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Ernie (1969 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990), The Newsman (1976 - 1990), Guy Smiley (1969 - 1990) & a penguin
- Down at Fraggle Rock: Behind the Scenes: Doozer (demonstration)
- The Jim Henson Hour: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Link Hogthrob (1977 - 1990), The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990), Timecaster, Teddy Bear, Garbage Bags, Timrek the Gorf, Screaming No-Nos, various demonstrations in "Secrets of the Muppets"
- Dog City: Bugsy Them
- The Muppetsat Walt Disney World: Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Dr. Teeth (1975 - 1990), Rowlf the Dog (1962 - 1990), Waldorf (1975 - 1990), Link Hogthrob (1977 - 1990) & The Swedish Chef (1975 - 1990)
- Sing Yourself Silly !: Ernie (1969 - 1990), Kermit the Frog (1955 - 1990), Lead Singer from One Banana
- Time Piece (1965) (also wrote & starred as "The Man")
- The Cube (1969)
- Hey Cinderella! (1969)
- SESAME STREET (1969 - present)
- The FROG Prince (1971)
- The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972)
- The Muppets Valentine Show (1974)
- Muppet Meeting Films (select episodes)
- Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
- The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
- The Dark Crystal (1982) (co-director with Frank Oz)
- Rocky Mountain Holiday (1983)
- Fraggle Rock (1983 - 1986)
- Labyrinth (1986)
- The Tale of the Bunny Picnic (1986)
- The Storyteller (1987)
- The Earth Day Special (1990) (Kermit segment)
- Muppet*Vision 3D (1991)
- Sam & Friends (1955 - 1961)
- Tales of the Tinkerdee (1962)
- Time Piece (1965)
- SESAME STREET (uncredited) (1969 - present)
- The Muppet Show (1976 - 1981)
- "Number Song Series" (1970)
- "The Queen of Six" (1971)
- "The King of Eight" (1970)
- "Number Three Ball Film" (1970)
- The Muppet Show "Theme Song" (1976)
Executive Producer Credits
- HENSON was right-handed.
- HENSON shares the same birthday (September 24th) with STEVE WHITMIRE, a fellow Muppeteer who took over both Kermit the Frog & Ernie after HENSON’s death.
- In 1991, an album that focused exclusively on songs sung by HENSON’s characters, JIM HENSON: A SESAME STREET Celebration, was released.
- A young JIM HENSON was also portrayed in Kermit’s Swamp Years by Christian Kebbel. Kebbel, ironically, was born in 1990 the same year HENSON died.
- JIM HENSON, in the 1960s, wrote & illustrated an unreleased children's book called Watermellon's I Don't Know.
- HENSON drew the tattoos seen on Lydia, the pig who performed in "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" in episode 102 of The Muppet Show.
- According to 4Kids Entertainment, in publicity materials for the upcoming JIM HENSON Designs product line, HENSON’s name"achieves 95% awareness among consumers surveyed, & a 98% favorability rating among these same consumers".
- HENSON shares his birthday with the death date of Dr. Seuss & SESAME STREET writer JEFF MOSS.
- HENSON’s final on-screen appearance was a guest appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show on May 4th 1990.
- JIM made a cameo in Into the Night talking to his agent Bernie on the phone before he was asked to leave.
- JIM’s image can be spotted on a banner in The Muppets, right outside The Muppet Theater. His birth date is shown on the curtain rail system above the stage, depicting the date of installation.
- Characters of JIM HENSON’s Muppeteer Veteran STEVE WHITMIRE has performed once or consistently are:
- Kermit the Frog: The Muppets Celebrate JIM HENSON (1990) - 2016
- Ernie: SESAME STREET Stays Up Late (1993) - 2014
- The Newsman: Muppets.com (2008) - 2016
- Link Hogthrob: Muppet RaceMania (2000) - 2016
- Rowlf the Dog (occasionally on The Muppet Show; right hand only)
- Dr. Teeth (The Muppet Show Live (2001) (assistant to JOHN KENNEDY; Muppetry only; Hands of Dr. Teeth (assistant to BILL BARRETTA; ca. 2005 - present))
- Guy Smiley: SESAME STREET season 32 (2001)
- The Swedish Chef: I Love Lucy Mania Screen Test (1999)
- Zeke (1979 - ca. 1980s)
- Leo: The Muppet Show Episode 403) (1979)
- Waldorf: Parts of LittleBigPlanet 2 (2011)
- ↑ Program of Graduation Exercises, 1954, Northwestern Senior High School, Hyattsville, MD.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Jim Henson: The Works by Christopher Finch, 1993
- ↑ Inches, Alison Jim Henson’s Designs & Doodles
- ↑ Inventors & Creators: Jim Henson, 2002.
- ↑ Jim Henson CNN People Profiles 1999 (1/4)
- ↑ Gale Research Company. Something about the Author. Volume 43. 1986
- ↑ Borgenicht, David. SESAME STREET UNpaved. New York:Hyperion, 1998. page. 183.
- ↑ Collins, James. "The TV Creator." TIME Magazine, 100 issue. June 8th, 1998.
- ↑ SESAME STREET: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the STREET, sample pages shown at ToughPigs.com
- ↑ The New York Times Magazine, "Muppets in Movieland" by John Culhane, June 10th, 1979.
- ↑ The Muppets at Walt Disney World : Part 06 (1990)
- ↑ The Swedish Chef’s Casting history
- ↑ People Weekly, "Legacy of a Gentle Genius" by Susan Schindehette, June 18th, 1990
- ↑ Illinois Department of Public Health - Group A Streptococcus
- ↑ findagrave.com
- ↑ Where Are They Buried? by Tod Benoit, 2003, ISBN 1579122876
- ↑ The Swedish Chef's Casting history
- ↑ LittleBigPlanet 2 Part 2 on YouTube
- The Jim Henson Legacy
- JIM HENSON on IMDb
- Interview by Judy Harris
- Muppet Central's Tribute to HENSON
- University of Maryland FAQ on the Jim Henson statue
- JIM HENSON Awards & Honors
- JIM HENSON Cameos
- JIM HENSON Films
- JIM HENSON Biographies
- HENSON & Muppets pictures
- Muppet Performers
- Muppet Puppeteers
- Muppet Voice Actors
- Creature Shop Puppeteers
- Jim Martin, a fellow SESAME STREET Muppeteer veteran
- JIM (disambiguation)
- JIM HENSON on the Muppet Wiki
- JIM HENSON on the Puppet Wiki
- JIM HENSON on the OSCAR THE GROUCH Wiki
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