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{{book|image=JimHenson-BiographyCover.jpg|writer=[[Brian Jay Jones]]|illustrator=|date=September 24, [[2013]]|publisher=[[Random House|Random House / Ballantine Books]]|series=|pages=|isbn=0345526112 <small>(hardcover book)</small><br>0345526139<small> (e-book)</small><br>0804128642<small> (audiobook CD)</small><br>0804128650<small> (audio download)</small>}}
[[Image:Jim and kermit.jpg|thumb|300px]]
 
{{book|writer=Brian Jay Jones|illustrator=|date=September 24, [[2013]]|publisher=Random House/Ballantine|series=|isbn=0345526112}}
 
'''Jim Henson: The Biography''' is an upcoming [[Jim Henson Biographies|biography]] of [[Jim Henson]] written by [[Brian Jay Jones]]. The 672-page book will be released on September 24, [[2013]] (Henson's 77th birthday).
 
   
==Development
+
'''Jim Henson: The Biography''' is a [[Jim Henson biographies|biographical account]] of [[Jim Henson]]'s life and career written by [[Brian Jay Jones]]. The 672-page hardcover was released on September 24, [[2013]] (Henson's 77th birthday) by [[Random House|Random House / Ballantine Books]]. A digital e-book edition, and an audiobook, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, were released on the same day.
In July 2010, it was first reported that author Brian Jay Jones had sold a biography of Jim Henson to Ballantine Books. Jones worked on the project with the blessing of [[the Henson family]] and [[the Jim Henson Legacy]]. According to the press release, the book will cover Henson's professional career, but does not mention how much of his personal life will be featured.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2010/07/27/in-which-all-is-revealed/ Author's blog] July 27, 2010</ref> The biography will be published by Random House/Ballantine.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2010/07/27/in-which-all-is-revealed/#comment-1599 Author's blog] July 29, 2010</ref>
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__TOC__
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<gallery widths=300>
  +
File:JIM HENSON The Biography by Brian Jay Jones
  +
</gallery>
   
From 2010 to 2012, Jones spent time combing through [[The Jim Henson Company Archives|the Henson Archives]] with the assistance of [[Karen Falk]].<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/jim-henson/brians-jim-henson-journal/ Author's blog] October 8, 2010</ref>
+
==Development==
  +
It was first reported in July 2010 that Brian Jay Jones had sold a biography of Jim Henson to Ballantine Books. Jones worked on the project with the blessing of [[the Henson family]] and [[the Jim Henson Legacy]]. From 2010 to 2012, he spent time combing through [[The Jim Henson Company Archives|the Henson Archives]] with the assistance of [[Karen Falk]].<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/jim-henson/brians-jim-henson-journal/ Author's blog] October 8, 2010</ref> Jones also spent time interviewing many of Henson's colleagues for the book — including [[Jane Henson]], [[Steve Whitmire]], [[Dave Goelz]], and [[Jerry Nelson]], among others.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2013/04/03/sensational-inspirational-jane-henson-1934-2013/ Author's blog] April 3, 2013</ref><ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2011/08/23/gonzo-scheudling/ Author's blog] August 23, 2011</ref><ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2012/08/24/missing-jerry-nelson/ Author's blog] August 24, 2012</ref> Jones delivered the first draft of the manuscript to his editor in June 2012; the draft was 700-pages long.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2012/06/28/celebrational-4/ Author's blog] January 19, 2012</ref> After being typeset and laid out, the final book will be 592-pages.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2013/05/07/tuesday-mail/ Author's blog] May 7, 2013</ref>
   
Jones delivered the first draft manuscript to his editor in June 2012; the draft was 700-pages long.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2012/06/28/celebrational-4/ Author's blog] January 19, 2012</ref> The book is planned for release on September 24, 2013 — Jim Henson's 77th birthday.<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/book/ Brian Jay Jones Books]</ref>
+
==Official Description==
  +
{{quote|He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters he created: [[Kermit the Frog]], [[Bert]] and [[Ernie]], [[Miss Piggy]], [[Big Bird]]. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.
  +
  +
This extraordinary biography—written with the generous cooperation of [[the Henson family]]—covers the full arc of Henson's all-too-brief life: from his childhood in [[Leland, Mississippi]]; through the years of burgeoning fame in [[Washington D.C.]], [[New York City|New York]], and [[London]]; to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and [[The Jim Henson Company Archives|company archives]] (including never-before-seen interviews, business documents, and Henson’s private letters), Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson’' contributions to ''[[Sesame Street]]'' and ''[[Saturday Night Live]]'', and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring ''[[The Muppet Show]]'' to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson's non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of ''[[The Dark Crystal]]'' and ''[[Labyrinth]]''—as well as fascinating misfires like Henson's dream of opening [[Cyclia|an inflatable psychedelic nightclub]] or staging [[The Muppets at Lincoln Center|an elaborate all-puppet Broadway show]].
  +
  +
An uncommonly intimate portrait, ''Jim Henson'' captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as "the new Walt Disney," and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson's intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing; his love of fast cars, high-stakes gambling, and expensive art; and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded.
  +
  +
An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, ''Jim Henson'' gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.}}
   
==See also==
+
==Audio Book==
* [[Jim Henson Biographies]]
+
An unabridged audio book was released on September 24, 2013 by Random House Audio. Narrated by Kirby Heyborne, it runs 15 hours long.<ref>[http://www.amazon.com/dp/0804128642 Jim Henson: The Biography (Audiobook, Unabridged)]</ref> The audio book was released on both audio CD and as a digital download.
  +
<gallery widths="200" spacing="small" >
  +
JimHenson-BiographyAudio.jpg|Audiobook Cover
  +
</gallery>
  +
  +
==Events & Publicity==
  +
[[Image:JimHensonBiographyPanel.jpg|thumb|300px|''Jim Henson: The Biography'' panel at the Museum of the Moving Image; (left to right) Dwight Bowers, Karen Falk, Brian Jay Jones, Craig Shemin, Fran Brill, Bonnie Erickson, and Barbara Miller.]]
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[[Image:BrianJayJones-TheDailyShow.jpg|thumb|300px|Brian Jay Jones with John Stewart on ''The Daily Show'']]
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[[Image:BrianJayJones-TravisSmiley.jpg|thumb|300px|Brian Jay Jones on ''The Tavis Smiley Show'']]
  +
* Brian Jay Jones and [[Dave Goelz]] appeared on ''The Diane Rehm Show'' on September 25, 2013 to discuss the book. <small>([http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-09-25/brian-jay-jones-jim-henson-biography audio])</small>
  +
  +
* [[Museum of the Moving Image|The Museum of the Moving Image]] hosted a special panel, moderated by [[Craig Shemin]], on October 1, 2013 about the book. The panel featured Brain Jay Jones, [[Karen Falk]], [[Bonnie Erickson]], [[Fran Brill]], Museum of the Moving Image curator Barbara Miller, and [[The Smithsonian Institute|Smithsonian]] entertainment exhibits curator Dwight Bowers.
  +
  +
* Jones appeared on ''[[The Daily Show|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart]]'' on October 10, 2013 to discuss the book. <small>([http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-10-2013/brian-jay-jones video])</small>
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* [[New York Comic Con]] hosted "Jim Henson: The Biography: The Panel," moderated by [[Joe Hennes]] and Ryan Roe of [[Tough Pigs|toughpigs.com]], on October 11, 2013. The panel featured Brian Jay Jones, Karen Falk, [[Michael K. Frith]], Bonnie Erickson, and Fran Brill. A full video of the panel was posted to [[YouTube]] by the [[The Nerdist|Nerdist Channel]] in November 2013. {{youtube|4uvKK4GOzIQ}}
  +
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* Jones and [[Frank Oz]] appeared in a segment about the book on ''[[Today|The Today Show]]'' on October 15, 2013.
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* Jones appeared on the October 18, 2013 episode of the ''A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume'' podcast to discuss the book. <small>([http://asitecalledfred.com/2013/10/18/brian-jay-jones-ken-plume-chat/graphy.com/2013/12/06/brian-jay-jones-jim-henson-the-biography-ballantine-books-2013/ audio])</small>
  +
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* Jones appeared on ''[[The Tavis Smiley Show]]'' to discuss the book on October 18, 2013.
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  +
*Jones sat down for an interview at the local [[PBS]] station in Albuquerque, [[New Mexico|NM]] for a 15-minute segment on ''New Mexico In Focus''. Larry Ahrens interviewed Jones on the air about Henson and creating the book. {{youtube|bB55PnoSQPM}} An additional 8-minute segment with Jones was posted as a "web extra" to the stations YouTube channel as well. {{youtube|TfoiSkBQs5Y}}
  +
  +
* Jones was interviewed by Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch on New Zealand radio on November 5, 2013. <small>([http://newstalkzb.co.nz/christchurch/player/ondemand/brianjayjones-5november2013 audio])</small>
  +
  +
* Jones was interviewed by Oline Eaton for ''New Books In Biography''. The hour-long interview was posted on December 6, 2013. <small>([http://newbooksinbiography.com/2013/12/06/brian-jay-jones-jim-henson-the-biography-ballantine-books-2013/ audio])</small>
  +
  +
==Reviews==
  +
{{quote|I worked with Jim for over thirty years. He was one of my closest friends. And yet I found out things about him in ''Jim Henson'' that were new to me. Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim’s genius and humanity as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect. Jim needed this book to be written. I thank Brian for giving Jim life again. This book has captured the spirit of Jim Henson.|attr=[[Frank Oz]]<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2013/06/18/oz-2/ Oz]</ref>}}
  +
  +
<hr WIDTH="50%"/>{{quote|I loved it. Brian Jay Jones vividly portrays Jim’s journey, and also the intersecting journeys of his colleagues and friends. In spite of the fact that Jim and I worked together closely for many years, there were compartments of his life that I hadn’t known before. I was completely involved and couldn’t put the book down. A tremendous job.|attr=[[Dave Goelz]]<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2013/07/09/good-as-goelz/ Good as Goelz]</ref>}}
  +
  +
<hr WIDTH="50%"/>{{quote|This is not only a superb biography for the Jim Henson and Muppet fans but also a sensitively-written portrayal of a great and unique human being that will fascinate any and all readers.|attr=[[Fran Brill]]<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2013/08/27/brill-booklist-and-buzzworthy-bios/ Brill, Booklist, and “Buzzworthy Bios”]</ref>}}
  +
  +
<hr WIDTH="50%"/>{{quote|I'm a rabid Jim Henson fan—his brilliant ideas spawned shows that entertained and educated millions, myself included. ''Jim Henson'' vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods. It's an absolute must read!|attr=[[Neil Patrick Harris]]<ref>[http://brianjayjones.com/2013/05/08/a-blurb-thats-legen-wait-for-it/ A Blurb That's Legen...wait for it...]</ref>}}
  +
  +
<hr WIDTH="50%"/>{{quote|...Jones is masterful at explaining how Henson grew up to become a daring puppeteer and scriptwriter, [and] how he managed to attract so much remarkable talent to his side ... Jones does not ignore Henson's separation from his wife/creative partner, nor his extramarital affair with a much younger woman, but the downside of Henson’s personality is not Jones' primary focus. In an era of pathography, this biography stands out as positive ... Jones continually shows that Henson left the world a better place, which serves as the book's theme. A solid biography that can be enjoyed by readers of more than one generation.|attr=Kirkus Reviews<ref>[https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/brian-jay-jones/jim-henson/ Kirkus Reviews]</ref>}}
  +
  +
<hr WIDTH="50%"/>{{quote|Every Muppet fan has wondered who was behind the wide-mouthed, bug-eyed, furry creatures. Before now all we had was a credit line: Jim Henson. Now, with Brian Jay Jones's riveting ''Jim Henson'', we have a nuanced portrait of the puppeteer—part genius inspired by his Mississippi Delta roots and his Christian Science faith, part flawed human with tastes too rich in everything from his art and cars to his women—that brings new understanding of and empathy for an icon of American popular culture.|attr=Larry Tye, author of ''Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend'' and ''[[Superman]]: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero''<ref>[http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jim-henson-brian-jay-jones/1114194215 Advance praise for ''Jim Henson'']</ref>}}
  +
  +
==Errata==
  +
* Page 138 incorrectly states that a [[Cinderella Pilot|Cinderella]] series was pitched to [[CBS]]. It was actually a series based on [[Snow White]] that was pitched to CBS. The fairy tale was changed from Snow White to Cinderella after it was pitched to [[ABC]].
  +
  +
* Page 177 incorrectly lists [[Featherstone]] among a group of characters who first appeared in ''[[Tales of the Tinkerdee]]'', which the character did not appear in.
  +
  +
* Page 429 incorrectly says that two episodes of ''[[The Jim Henson Hour]]'' didn't air during the show's original NBC run. Actually, it was three episodes - [[Episode 110: Secrets of the Muppets]], [[Episode 111: Living with Dinosaurs]], and [[Episode 112: Food]].
  +
  +
* Page 429 also refers to [[Episode 105: First Show]] as "The Ratings Game". "The Ratings Game" was one of many episode titles made up for an episode guide in ''[[MuppetZine]]'' that found its way to various websites and were the titles listed on Muppet Wiki until early 2013 when the official titles for the [[MuppeTelevision]] segments were found.<ref>See [[Category talk: Jim Henson Hour Episodes]]</ref>
   
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
  +
[[Image:JimHenson-TheBiography.jpg|thumb|300px|Brian Jay Jones' final galley proofs for the book]]
 
<references />
 
<references />
  +
  +
==See also==
  +
* [[Jim Henson biographies]]
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
*[http://brianjayjones.com/jim-henson/brians-jim-henson-journal/ Brian's Jim Henson Journal]
+
*[http://brianjayjones.com/jim-henson/brians-jim-henson-journal/ Jones's Jim Henson Journal]
  +
*[http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/mm/audio/4s_9780804128650.mp3 Audiobook sample]
  +
*[http://www.toughpigs.com/henson-bio ToughPigs.com review]
  +
*[http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303918804579107122553846590 Wall Street Journal review]
  +
*[http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/books/review/jim-henson-the-biography-by-brian-jay-jones.html New York Times review]
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  +
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__NOWYSIWYG__
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[[Category:Non-fiction Books]]
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[[Category:Jim Henson Books]]

Latest revision as of 06:16, June 25, 2019

JimHenson-BiographyCover
Written by Brian Jay Jones
Published September 24, 2013
Publisher Random House / Ballantine Books
ISBN 0345526112 (hardcover book)
0345526139 (e-book)
0804128642 (audiobook CD)
0804128650 (audio download)

Jim Henson: The Biography is a biographical account of Jim Henson's life and career written by Brian Jay Jones. The 672-page hardcover was released on September 24, 2013 (Henson's 77th birthday) by Random House / Ballantine Books. A digital e-book edition, and an audiobook, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, were released on the same day.

DevelopmentEdit

It was first reported in July 2010 that Brian Jay Jones had sold a biography of Jim Henson to Ballantine Books. Jones worked on the project with the blessing of the Henson family and the Jim Henson Legacy. From 2010 to 2012, he spent time combing through the Henson Archives with the assistance of Karen Falk.[1] Jones also spent time interviewing many of Henson's colleagues for the book — including Jane Henson, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, and Jerry Nelson, among others.[2][3][4] Jones delivered the first draft of the manuscript to his editor in June 2012; the draft was 700-pages long.[5] After being typeset and laid out, the final book will be 592-pages.[6]

Official DescriptionEdit

He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters he created: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.

This extraordinary biography—written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family—covers the full arc of Henson's all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi; through the years of burgeoning fame in Washington D.C., New York, and London; to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives (including never-before-seen interviews, business documents, and Henson’s private letters), Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson’' contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson's non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth—as well as fascinating misfires like Henson's dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub or staging an elaborate all-puppet Broadway show.

An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as "the new Walt Disney," and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson's intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing; his love of fast cars, high-stakes gambling, and expensive art; and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded.

An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.

Audio BookEdit

An unabridged audio book was released on September 24, 2013 by Random House Audio. Narrated by Kirby Heyborne, it runs 15 hours long.[7] The audio book was released on both audio CD and as a digital download.

Events & PublicityEdit

JimHensonBiographyPanel

Jim Henson: The Biography panel at the Museum of the Moving Image; (left to right) Dwight Bowers, Karen Falk, Brian Jay Jones, Craig Shemin, Fran Brill, Bonnie Erickson, and Barbara Miller.

BrianJayJones-TheDailyShow

Brian Jay Jones with John Stewart on The Daily Show

BrianJayJones-TravisSmiley

Brian Jay Jones on The Tavis Smiley Show

  • Brian Jay Jones and Dave Goelz appeared on The Diane Rehm Show on September 25, 2013 to discuss the book. (audio)
  • Jones appeared on the October 18, 2013 episode of the A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume podcast to discuss the book. (audio)
  • Jones sat down for an interview at the local PBS station in Albuquerque, NM for a 15-minute segment on New Mexico In Focus. Larry Ahrens interviewed Jones on the air about Henson and creating the book. (YouTube) An additional 8-minute segment with Jones was posted as a "web extra" to the stations YouTube channel as well. (YouTube)
  • Jones was interviewed by Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch on New Zealand radio on November 5, 2013. (audio)
  • Jones was interviewed by Oline Eaton for New Books In Biography. The hour-long interview was posted on December 6, 2013. (audio)

ReviewsEdit

I worked with Jim for over thirty years. He was one of my closest friends. And yet I found out things about him in Jim Henson that were new to me. Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim’s genius and humanity as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect. Jim needed this book to be written. I thank Brian for giving Jim life again. This book has captured the spirit of Jim Henson.
Frank Oz[8]


I loved it. Brian Jay Jones vividly portrays Jim’s journey, and also the intersecting journeys of his colleagues and friends. In spite of the fact that Jim and I worked together closely for many years, there were compartments of his life that I hadn’t known before. I was completely involved and couldn’t put the book down. A tremendous job.
Dave Goelz[9]

This is not only a superb biography for the Jim Henson and Muppet fans but also a sensitively-written portrayal of a great and unique human being that will fascinate any and all readers.
Fran Brill[10]

I'm a rabid Jim Henson fan—his brilliant ideas spawned shows that entertained and educated millions, myself included. Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods. It's an absolute must read!
Neil Patrick Harris[11]

...Jones is masterful at explaining how Henson grew up to become a daring puppeteer and scriptwriter, [and] how he managed to attract so much remarkable talent to his side ... Jones does not ignore Henson's separation from his wife/creative partner, nor his extramarital affair with a much younger woman, but the downside of Henson’s personality is not Jones' primary focus. In an era of pathography, this biography stands out as positive ... Jones continually shows that Henson left the world a better place, which serves as the book's theme. A solid biography that can be enjoyed by readers of more than one generation.
—Kirkus Reviews[12]

Every Muppet fan has wondered who was behind the wide-mouthed, bug-eyed, furry creatures. Before now all we had was a credit line: Jim Henson. Now, with Brian Jay Jones's riveting Jim Henson, we have a nuanced portrait of the puppeteer—part genius inspired by his Mississippi Delta roots and his Christian Science faith, part flawed human with tastes too rich in everything from his art and cars to his women—that brings new understanding of and empathy for an icon of American popular culture.
—Larry Tye, author of Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend and Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero[13]

ErrataEdit

  • Page 138 incorrectly states that a Cinderella series was pitched to CBS. It was actually a series based on Snow White that was pitched to CBS. The fairy tale was changed from Snow White to Cinderella after it was pitched to ABC.
  • Page 429 also refers to Episode 105: First Show as "The Ratings Game". "The Ratings Game" was one of many episode titles made up for an episode guide in MuppetZine that found its way to various websites and were the titles listed on Muppet Wiki until early 2013 when the official titles for the MuppeTelevision segments were found.[14]

SourcesEdit

JimHenson-TheBiography

Brian Jay Jones' final galley proofs for the book

  1. Author's blog October 8, 2010
  2. Author's blog April 3, 2013
  3. Author's blog August 23, 2011
  4. Author's blog August 24, 2012
  5. Author's blog January 19, 2012
  6. Author's blog May 7, 2013
  7. Jim Henson: The Biography (Audiobook, Unabridged)
  8. Oz
  9. Good as Goelz
  10. Brill, Booklist, and “Buzzworthy Bios”
  11. A Blurb That's Legen...wait for it...
  12. Kirkus Reviews
  13. Advance praise for Jim Henson
  14. See Category talk: Jim Henson Hour Episodes

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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