Caroll Spinney, Puppeteer Who Gave Life to Big Bird of ‘Sesame Street’, Dies at 85

Emily Langer, writing for The Washington Post:

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who gave life to Big Bird, the towering yellow avian of TV’s “Sesame Street” who accompanied generations of youngsters in the arduous, yet wondrous, work of growing up, died Dec. 8 at his home in Connecticut. He was 85 and died hours before “Sesame Street” received Kennedy Center Honors for achievement in the arts. […]

Mr. Spinney, who said he had been teased in childhood for his fascination with what his tormentors mocked as “dolls,” met Henson at a puppetry convention and first donned Big Bird’s 4,000 canary-yellow feathers for the show’s opening season. In thousands of episodes over nearly a half-century, he gave voice and motion to Big Bird and to Oscar the Grouch, the shaggy green trash can-dweller who showed children that they needed not always be happy and that it was okay to like things others didn’t — trash, for instance. […]

Spinney’s characters were a huge part of my childhood — and my son’s. That’s an amazing testament to Sesame Street’s timelessness and durability.

Monday, 9 December 2019