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Remembering Jim Henson - American Puppeteer

Updated: Sep 25

Remembering Jim Henson - American Puppeteer

Today we remember the life and God given creativity of Jim Henson.

Born September 24, 1936, His unexpected death was a shock for many.

But Henson left behind a legacy of family and creative energy we enjoy and appreciate to this day.

Many of us were priviledged to grow up in the years that Jim Henson created and developed the characters and stories that are now a part of our culture.

Thank You Jim!

Remembering Jim Henson - American Puppeteer
Remembering Jim Henson - American Puppeteer

Jim Henson

"Founder (1936-1990) Jim Henson, an extraordinary artist and visionary, invented unique worlds and characters that remain just as vivid, original and fresh today as when they were created. A television pioneer, an innovator in puppetry, technology and visual arts, and a performer who literally brought to life some of the most memorable characters ever-including the world’s most famous frog, Kermit™ – Jim Henson’s impact on entertainment, education and culture continues to this day. Born September 24, 1936 at King’s Daughters Hospital in Greenville, Mississippi, Jim was the second son of Paul and Betty Henson. Jim spent his early years in Leland, MS where his father worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Throughout his youth, Jim had an interest in art and, later, television. He was particularly close to his maternal grandmother, an avid painter, quilter, and needleworker, and he visited her often. She was supportive of Jim’s artistic efforts and encouraged him to use his imagination and to take delight in the world around him. When Jim was in the fifth grade, the Henson family moved to Maryland. There Jim, often with his older brother Paul, experimented with a variety of artistic techniques- experiments which eventually led Jim to the very latest visual media, television. In 1954, while still in high school, Jim began his television career performing puppets on a local Washington, DC Saturday morning program on WTOP-TV. The following year, as a freshman at the University of Maryland, he was given his own twice-daily, five-minute show, Sam and Friends, on the local NBC affiliate, WRC-TV. Jim along with his assistant, fellow University of Maryland student and future wife, Jane Nebel, introduced many Muppet mainstays-music, snarky humor and innovative technical tricks (such as eliminating the puppet stage and using the television itself as the proscenium). Perhaps most memorably, the show featured an early version of Kermit the Frog™..." from the website:

Karen Falk Traces the Origins of Jim Henson's Monsters (Jim Henson’s Birthday 2023: Monsters!)

Video from The Jim Henson Company

"Join Karen Falk, Director of the Archives at The Jim Henson Company, as she traces the origins of Jim Henson’s Monsters through original sketches, photos and rarely seen scripts and sketchbook pages! More monsters coming your way all month long! Happy birthday, Jim Henson!" from video introduction

The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company

"The Jim Henson Company (also known at various times as Muppets, Inc., Henson Associates, and Jim Henson Productions) is an American entertainment company, a leading producer of children's and family entertainment, and best known as the creator of the renowned Muppets characters.

Founded in 1958 by Jim Henson, the company has produced such successful television series as The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, Bear in the Big Blue House, and Farscape, as well as creating the Muppet characters for the Sesame Workshop children's series, Sesame Street. Henson has also produced motion pictures including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. The company also operates Jim Henson's Creature Shop, a puppet, animatronics, and visual effects workshop.

The Henson Company entered a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company in 1989, but the deal fell through after founder Jim Henson's death in 1990, and the company was subsequently taken over by the Henson family. In 2000, Henson was sold to German media company EM.TV & Merchandising AG, but after EM.TV's stock collapsed, the company was sold back to the Henson family in 2003. In 2004, Henson sold the rights to the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House to The Walt Disney Company, but retains the rest of its characters, program library, and assets..." from the article: The Jim Henson Company

10 Interesting Things About Jim Henson You May Not Know

"Jim Henson is a legend and people still celebrate and love his many creations today. But there is a lot to know about the creator of The Muppets.

One of the most underrated forms of art is ventriloquism. While this practice has existed for decades, it wasn't until a young man from Mississippi began performing with his own cast of characters that the medium exploded into the mainstream. Jim Henson is responsible for a multitude of classic characters, from Kermit to Elmo..." from the article: 10 Interesting Things About Jim Henson You May Not Know

The Tragic Death of Jim Hensen

"No one saw Jim Henson's death coming. He was only 53 years old, and still going strong creatively — in fact, Henson was at the height of his career when he died in 1990. Henson was an absolute master of his art, a brilliant puppeteer with the ability to create worlds beyond audiences' imaginations. This was a man who brought us legendary programs like The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock, and the mystical worlds of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Henson's creativity seemed absolutely boundless — there seemed to be no limit to what he could accomplish.." from the article: The Tragic Death of Jim Hensen


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