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who appeared with Jim Henson on screen:
Birthday: September 24, 1936
Place: Greenville, Mississippi, USA
Height: 0' 0"
is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in) for
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| For as long as he could remember, Mississippi born Jim Henson was a devoted fan of puppeteers and ventriloquists; his idols included Edgar Bergen, Burr Tillstrom and Bil and Cora Baird. While attending high school in Maryland (where his meteorologist father had been relocated), Henson was hired for the staff of the Washington, D.C. kiddy show Sam and His Friends. By the time he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, the lanky, goateed Henson was in charge of the TV show's puppets, with his future wife Jane Nebel as his assistant. It was during the Washington years that Henson hit upon the concept of the Muppet: part marionette, part puppet. His most popular character was Kermit the Frog, whom Henson fashioned out of his mom's overcoat in 1959. TV commercial appearances by the Muppets led to guest stints on The Jack Paar Show, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and The Jimmy Dean Show. While Henson and his partner Frank Oz handled the voices for most of the characters, the ever-expanding Muppet cast required a retinue of willing (and quick-witted) assistants. Henson's first taste of movie-making was the Oscar-nominated 1965 short Timepiece, but at the time he preferred television to films. In 1969, the Muppets became a regular feature on the spectacularly popular PBS daily Sesame Street, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse for Henson: his characters were now highly marketable, but he was being perceived as exclusively a "children's entertainer." As such, he lost a lot of adult-oriented assignments. This "kiddy" onus prevented ABC from picking up Henson's half-hour The Muppet Show in 1975, whereupon Henson offered the program to syndication. As a result, The Muppet Show became one of the biggest non-network hits in TV history, as well as a great international success. Capitalizing on the popularity of "star" muppets Kermit and Miss Piggy, Henson and his staff concocted the 1979 all-star feature film The Muppet Movie, which made scads of money. With 1981's The Great Muppet Caper, Henson made his feature film directorial debut; he would later direct Labyrinth (1986), and with Frank Oz, co-direct The Dark Crystal (1982). After many years of avoiding Saturday morning network TV, Henson collaborated with Marvel Studios on the weekly cartoon series Muppet Babies (1984), which added more Emmy awards to his already top-heavy trophy shelf; less successful was the 1986 animated version of Henson's HBO series Fraggle Rock. During the late '80s, Henson expanded his activities to designing "creatures" for other producer's projects, notably the 1990 movie blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In May of 1990, Henson was poised to sell his Muppet empire to Disney Studios. Suddenly stricken with streptococcus pneumonia, Jim Henson checked himself into New York Hospital, where he died a few days later at the age of 53. The Muppet operation was taken over by Jim Henson's son Brian Henson.
- Died the weekend he was going to sell his company to Disney.
- Attended the University of Maryland, College Park
- Attended Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.
- Named Kermit the Frog after a childhood friend from Mississippi.
- Shares same birthday (September 24) with Steve Whitmire, fellow muppeteer who took over Kermit the Frog after Henson's death.
- Father of Brian Henson, Lisa Henson, and Heather Henson.
- Founded the "UNIMA Citations of Excellence" in 1973 to provide a peer-judged award for the art of puppetry in North America. In 1966, Jim Henson had previously founded (with other American puppeteers) the USA chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA) - the world's oldest international theatre arts organization, and served as the USA Chapter's founding chaiman.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) was dedicated to his memory.
- One of the main reasons why Henson preferred to use Kermit the Frog for his signature character was that he was the lightest in weight of the regular puppets and therefore one of the most comfortable for use for extended periods of time.
- Created the original Kermit the Frog out of his mother's old coat and a ping-pong ball. In the beginning Kermit was not a frog, but a lizard-like character. He gradually evolved, and first appeared as Kermit The Frog in "Hey Cinderella!" and has remained so ever since.
- Died the same day as Sammy Davis Jr..
- Had been ill with walking pneumonia for several days before his death but never told anybody, not even his family, because, true to his character, he didn't want to be a burden to anybody. By the time he finally sought medical help, it was too late to do anything.
- Was a good friend of George Lucas, who originally offered him the role of Yoda in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). He declined and suggested Frank Oz for the part.
- His funeral was attended by over 1,000 people and muppets, including Frank Oz, George Lucas, Richard Curtis, Kermit the Fog, and British producer Lew Grade.
- Harry Belafonte sang the much beloved song "Turn the World Around" from _The Muppet Show (1976)_ at Jim's funeral. It was reported to be his favorite.
- Pictured on a USA 37¢ commemorative stamp issued 28 September 2005. The stamp was issued on a single souvenir sheet honoring "Jim Henson, the man behind the Muppets". The souvenir sheet contained 10 additional 37¢ stamps featuring the following Muppet characters: Kermit the Frog; Fozzie Bear; Sam the Eagle; Miss Piggy; Statler and Waldorf; Swedish Chef, Animal; Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker; Rowlf; and The Great Gonzo and Camilla.
- Before his career in puppetry, he would experiment with 8mm and 16mm film, often making animation.
- First met Jerry Juhl at a Puppeteers Of America convention.
- First met David Lazer when he had been contracted to make a few short puppet films for them. Lazer worked at IBM.
- A Jim Henson retrospective was held from September 1990 to February 1991 at London's Museum of the Moving Image.
- In his early TV shows, he didn't always perform voices, but lip-synched to records of the day.
- His first television character was called Pierre, the French Rat. It began life as a comic strip drawn by Henson for a high-school publication in 1954.
- On a trip to Europe, he saw puppet theater being taken seriously by adults, he returned convinced he could create a puppet TV show which would appeal to adults.
- "Lydia The Tattooed Lady" was one of his all time favorite songs. The Muppet performed this song at his memorial service. Henson himself drew the tattoos on the Lydia, The Tattooed Lady muppet used in episode 2 of "The Muppet Show" (1976).
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) was one of his favorite films.
- Arrived at his graduation in a Rolls Royce.
- His earliest Puppetry influences were "Kukla, Fran and Ollie", Bill Baird, and Edgar Bergen.
- Once said his earliest artistic influence was his grandmother "Dear". She taught him to value everything he saw around him and to appreciate everything.
- Had a hit single singing "Rubber Duckie" as Ernie. "Rubber Duckie" entered the Billboard Top 40 chart for pop/rock in August 1970 and stayed on the chart for seven weeks, peaking at number 16. The `famous' rubber-duck-squeaking solo in the original version of the song (for the very first "Sesame Street album") is squeaked by the song's writer, Jeff Moss. When the Sesame Street cast appeared in concert with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the rubber duck was considered a percussion instrument. Apparently unwilling to pay musicians to play a `second instrument,' duck squeaking was limited to the percussion section when the cast sang this song with the Pops (with Big Bird conducting).
- 1961: Met Frank Oz in Asilomar, California.
Naked Photos of Jim Henson are available at MaleStars.com. They
currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips,
Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.