Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney has died, aged 85 1 month ago

Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney has died, aged 85

The man who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life.

Caroll Spinney, the man who played iconic puppets Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street, has died at the age of 85.

The award-winning puppeteer passed away at his home in Conneticut, having lived with neurological movement disorder syndrome Dystonia for some time.

A statement issued by the Sesame Workshop on Sunday confirmed the news while hailing Spinney as an "artistic genius" with a "kind and loving view of the world" that helped shape and define Sesame Street from its inception in 1969.

"His legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending," notes the statement.

"His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while."

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Caroll Spinney, the legendary puppeteer behind beloved Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, died today, December 8th 2019, at age 85 at his home in Connecticut, after living with Dystonia for some time. Since 1969, Caroll’s kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street. His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while. In these characters, Caroll Spinney gave something truly special to the world. With deepest admiration, Sesame Workshop is proud to carry his legacy – and his beloved characters – into the future. Our hearts go out to his beloved wife, Debra, and all of his children and grandchildren. We will miss him dearly.

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"Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless," said show co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney.

"He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well.

"We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world."