Jim Henson (1954-1990)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Henson's first performance was on The Junior Morning Show in June 1954.[1]
Henson's last public performance was on The Arsenio Hall Show on May 4, 1990. Henson died less than two weeks later.
See also: Posthumous works


Frank Oz (1963-2012)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Oz's first performances with the Muppets was in 1963, right-handing for Rowlf the Dog in variety appearances and later on The Jimmy Dean Show.
Oz's last known performance with the Muppets was as Miss Piggy on January 14, 2002 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of NBC's Today. Oz's last known performance on Sesame Street was as Carson, Clucky Luciano and Grover in inserts for Season 43.
See also: Return performances


Jerry Nelson (1965-2012)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Nelson first worked with Henson in 1965 performing the right hand of Rowlf on The Jimmy Dean Show.
Nelson reprised his role as announcer during The Muppet Telethon in 2011's The Muppets and served as announcer for Jim Henson's Musical World in 2012. Nelson continued to voice his characters for Sesame Street up until his death (although he stopped puppeteering in the mid 2000s); his later work for Sesame Street continued to air into Season 44. Nelson's final performances as the Count include the song "Five By" and the street story in Episode 4401.
See also: Posthumous works


Caroll Spinney (1969-2018)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Spinney's first work with the Muppets was on Sesame Street, performing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch in the first episode of the show.
Spinney stopped doing the puppeteering for Big Bird in 2015 but continued providing the voices for him and Oscar until retiring. His final work before officially retiring was on October 18, 2018 when he recorded vocals for Season 50 of Sesame Street.[2]


Fran Brill (1970-2014)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Brill's first project with the Muppets was The Great Santa Claus Switch in 1970.
Brill retired from performing in September 2014.[3] Her final work on Sesame Street was in season 45 and the television special The Cookie Thief.


Richard Hunt (1970-1991)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Hunt's first project with the Muppets was The Great Santa Claus Switch in 1970. Hunt performed Bing and other characters.
Hunt performed Scooter alongside Gonzo on a UK morning show in the fall of 1991 promoting Walt Disney World and its Disney-MGM Studios park attractions. (YouTube) Hunt's final work on Sesame Street was in season 23, including a Sonny Friendly performance in Episode 2926, which aired two weeks after his death.
See also: Posthumous works


Dave Goelz (1973-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Goelz joined Henson Associates as a part-time puppet builder in 1973. He got his first crack at performing, playing Brewster, in The Muppets Valentine Show.
Goelz is still actively performing with the Muppets.


Steve Whitmire (1978-2016)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Whitmire joined the performers on The Muppet Show in March 1978.[4][5] His first episode was Episode 307: Alice Cooper, in which he puppeteered Thog.
Whitmire's final performances as Kermit, following the end of The Muppets TV series, included the Vulture Festival in May 2016, two pre-recorded video appearances (one for Tough Pigs' "Fozzie Awards" and another for the Puppets for Puppetry event honoring Dave Goelz, both in September 2016), and a pre-recorded audio track for Great Moments in American History which debuted in October 2016.


Kevin Clash (1979-2012)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
In 1979, Clash performed Cookie Monster on the Sesame Street float in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Later, in 1983, he was officially hired to perform in ten episodes of Sesame Street.
Clash resigned from Sesame Street in November 2012. Material featuring Clash as Elmo continued to be featured throughout season 44 of Sesame Street. Clash pre-recorded vocals for the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and an appearance in the television special Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays. Clash's last known public performance of Elmo was during a radio interview with WNYC on October 30, 2012 (twenty days before his official resignation from Sesame Workshop).



Brian Henson (1980-2005)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Aside from making on-screen cameos as a child in his father's live-action films, Henson assisted with the bicycle sequence inThe Great Muppet Caper during a summer break from high school.
Henson continues to perform characters for the Jim Henson Company, notably the Miskreant Puppets of the company's Henson Alternative brand. His most recent work with the Muppets was performing Sal Minella in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and for an appearance on the 2005 MDA Labor Day Telethon.



Martin P. Robinson (1981-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Robinson's first performance on Sesame Street was as Mr. Snuffleupagus in Episode 1601, singing a song with Big Bird about what it would be like to own a dinosaur.[6] The episode was taped on August 26, 1981.
Robinson is still actively performing on Sesame Street.


David Rudman (1985-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Rudman's first performance with the Muppets was an appearance in the 1981 special I Love Liberty.[7] His first day as a regular Sesame Street performer came during production for season 17, where he performed a monster and a dentist.[8]
Rudman is still actively performing with the Muppets and on Sesame Street.


Joey Mazzarino (1989-2015)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Mazzarino started working with the Muppets in 1989. His earliest credits include Billy Bunny's Animal Songs, The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson and various Sesame Street productions.
Mazzarino left Sesame Street in late 2015; with Season 46, featuring performances as Murray and others, being his last. Mazzarino has since served as a writer and director on Julie's Greenroom, and performed at a 2018 Puppets for Puppetry event.


Bill Barretta (1991-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Barratta performed the body of Earl Sinclair on Dinosaurs. Barretta transitioned to assisting and supporting roles in The Animal Show, Muppet Classic Theater and Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, and made his film debut as a principal performer playing Clueless Morgan in Muppet Treasure Island.
Barretta is still actively performing with the Muppets.


Peter Linz (1991-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Linz was hired as an additional puppeteer on Sesame Street during Season 23. His first jobs included assisting Kevin Clash in performing one of the monsters in Baby Tooth and the Fuzzy Funk, and operating a pair of dancing bugs in "Night Bug Boogie."[9]
Linz is still actively performing with the Muppets and on Sesame Street.


Stephanie D'Abruzzo (1993-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
D'Abruzzo's first day performing on Sesame Street was November 3, 1993, working on episode 3162 where she played Monster #3.[10]
D'Abruzzo is still actively performing on Sesame Street.



Matt Vogel (1994-present)

First Known Performance Last Known Performance
Vogel first joined The Jim Henson Company in 1994 when he became John Henson's understudy for the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.[11]
Vogel is still actively performing with the Muppets and on Sesame Street.


Sources

  1. 6/–/1954 – ‘Began puppets with Russell Wall on WTOP, Washington, DC’
  2. Original Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, Leaves ‘Sesame Street’ After Nearly 50 Years
  3. The Jim Henson Legacy - Fran Brill: A Job Well Done.
  4. Plume, Kenneth Muppet Central interview
  5. Official website of Gary Koepke
  6. Below the Frame - Episode 201
  7. David Rudman interview with BBC
  8. Rudman, David The MuppetCast Show #41
  9. Puppet Tears podcast Episode #3
  10. Stephanie D'Abruzzo's Official Website
  11. Tough Pigs "Interview: Sesame Street's Matt Vogel" by Ryan Roe, August 8, 2008
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