Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who gave life to lovable Big Bird from kid’s show Sesame Street for 50 years, has passed away. He was 85 years old.
Sesame Street made the official announcement on their Facebook page wherein they revealed that Spinney has been battling with dystonia, which causes uncontrollable muscle contractions, for some time now. He retired last year and also handpicked his successors to play his two characters from the show: Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, the cranky green monster who lived in a trashcan.
His death comes just as Sesame Street celebrates its 50th anniversary and receives one of America’s top cultural awards, the Kennedy Center Honors, on Sunday, December 8 in Washington.
Spinney also won multiple awards in his career as a puppeteer, namely Daytime Emmys, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Grammy Award for best children’s recording. He was also named a Living Legend by the US Library of Congress in 2000 and has been immortalized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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Thank you for all the memories. May he rest in peace.
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