Jim Henson
Jim Henson

Celebrity Profile

Name: Jim Henson
Occupation: Puppeteer
Gender: Male
Birth Day: September 24, 1936
Death Date: May 16, 1990 (age 53)
Age: Aged 53
Birth Place: Greenville, United States
Zodiac Sign: Libra

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
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Jim Henson

Jim Henson was born on September 24, 1936 in Greenville, United States (53 years old). Jim Henson is a Puppeteer, zodiac sign: Libra. Find out Jim Hensonnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as both himself and Kermit the Frog.

Does Jim Henson Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Jim Henson died on May 16, 1990 (age 53).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

$20 Million

Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He created puppets for a children's show on local TV called The Junior Morning Show. Another early show was Sam and Friends, which featured prototypes of The Muppets.

Biography Timeline


Henson was born James Maury Henson on September 24, 1936, in Greenville, Mississippi, the younger of two children of Paul Ransom Henson (1904–1994), an agronomist for the United States Department of Agriculture, and his wife Betty Marcella (née Brown, 1904–1972). Henson's older brother, Paul Ransom Henson, Jr. (1932–1956), died in a car crash on April 15, 1956. He was raised as a Christian Scientist and spent his early childhood in Leland, Mississippi, before moving with his family to University Park, Maryland, near Washington, DC, in the late 1940s. He remembered the arrival of the family's first television as "the biggest event of his adolescence", being heavily influenced by radio ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the early television puppets of Burr Tillstrom on Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Bil and Cora Baird. He remained a Christian Scientist at least into his twenties when he taught Sunday School, but he wrote to a Christian Science church in 1975 to inform them that he was no longer a practicing member.


Henson began working for WTOP-TV (now WUSA-TV) in 1954 while attending Northwestern High School, creating puppets for a Saturday morning children's show called The Junior Morning Show. He enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park as a studio arts major upon graduation, thinking that he might become a commercial artist. A puppetry class offered in the applied arts department introduced him to the craft and textiles courses in the College of home economics. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics. As a freshman, he created Sam and Friends, a five-minute puppet show for WRC-TV. The characters on Sam and Friends were forerunners of the Muppets, and the show included a prototype of Henson's most famous character Kermit the Frog. He remained at WRC from 1954 to 1961.


Henson married Jane Nebel in 1959 and their children are Lisa (b. 1960), Cheryl (b. 1961), Brian (b. 1963), John (1965–2014), and Heather (b. 1970). Henson and his wife separated in 1986, although they remained close for the rest of his life. Jane said that Jim was so involved with his work that he had very little time to spend with her or their children. All five of his children began working with Muppets at an early age, partly because "one of the best ways of being around him was to work with him", according to Cheryl. Henson was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement.


In 1963, Henson and his wife moved to New York City where the newly formed Muppets, Inc. resided for some time, and Henson lived there until his death. Jane quit performing to raise their children, and Henson hired writer Jerry Juhl in 1961 and puppet performer Frank Oz in 1963 to replace her. Henson credited them both with developing much of the humor and character of his Muppets. He and Oz developed a close friendship and a performing partnership that lasted until Henson's death; their teamwork is particularly evident in their portrayals of Bert and Ernie, Kermit and Miss Piggy, and Kermit and Fozzie Bear. In New York City, Henson formed a partnership with Bernie Brillstein who managed Henson's career until the puppeteer's death.


Henson's talk show appearances culminated when he devised Rowlf, a piano-playing anthropomorphic dog that became the first Muppet to make regular appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show. Henson was so grateful for this break that he offered Jimmy Dean a 40-percent interest in his production company, but Dean declined, stating that Henson deserved all the rewards for his own work, a decision of conscience that Dean never regretted. From 1963 to 1966, Henson began exploring filmmaking and produced a series of experimental films. His nine-minute experimental film Time Piece was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1966. He produced The Cube in 1969. Around this time, he wrote the first drafts of a live-action movie script with Jerry Juhl which became Tale of Sand. The script remained in the Henson Company archives until it was adapted in the 2012 graphic novel Jim Henson's Tale of Sand.


In 1969, television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and her staff at the Children's Television Workshop were impressed by the quality and creativity of the Henson-led team, so they asked Henson and staff to work full-time on Sesame Street, a children's program for public television that premiered on National Educational Television on November 10, 1969. Part of the show was set aside for a series of funny, colorful puppet characters living on Sesame Street, including Grover, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, and Big Bird. Henson performed the characters of Ernie, game-show host Guy Smiley, and Kermit, who appeared as a roving television news reporter.


Henson began developing a Broadway show and a weekly television series both featuring the Muppets. The American networks rejected the series in 1976, believing that Muppets would appeal only to a child audience. Then Henson pitched the show to British impresario Lew Grade to finance the show. The show would be shot in the United Kingdom and syndicated worldwide. That same year, he scrapped plans for his Broadway show and moved his creative team to England, where The Muppet Show began taping. The show featured Kermit as host and a variety of other characters, notably Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Fozzie Bear, along with other characters such as Animal. Henson's teammates sometimes compared his role to that of Kermit: a shy, gentle boss with "a whim of steel" who ran things like "an explosion in a mattress factory." Caroll Spinney was the puppet performer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, and he remembered that Henson would never say he didn't like something. "He would just go 'Hmm.'… And if he liked it, he would say, 'Lovely!'" Henson recognized Kermit as an alter ego, though he thought that Kermit was bolder than he; he once said of the character, "He can say things I hold back."


The Jim Henson Company and the Jim Henson Foundation continued after his death, producing new series and specials. Jim Henson's Creature Shop also continues to create characters and special effects for both Henson-related and outside projects. Steve Whitmire, who had joined the Muppets cast in 1978, began performing Kermit the Frog six months after Henson's death. He was dismissed from the cast in 2016, and Matt Vogel succeeded him in the role of Kermit.


The Muppets appeared in their first theatrical feature film The Muppet Movie in 1979. It was both a critical and financial success; it made $65.2 million domestically and was the 61st highest-grossing film at the time. Henson's idol Edgar Bergen died at age 75 during production of the film, and Henson dedicated it to his memory. Henson as Kermit sang "The Rainbow Connection", and it hit number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The Henson-directed The Great Muppet Caper (1981) followed, and Henson decided to end the Muppet Show to concentrate on making films, though the Muppet characters continued to appear in TV movies and specials.


In 1982, Henson founded the Jim Henson Foundation to promote and develop the art of puppetry in the United States. Around that time, he began creating darker and more realistic fantasy films that did not feature the Muppets and displayed "a growing, brooding interest in mortality." He co-directed The Dark Crystal (1982) with Frank Oz, "trying to go toward a sense of realism—toward a reality of creatures that are actually alive". To provide a visual style distinct from the Muppets, the puppets in The Dark Crystal were based on conceptual artwork by Brian Froud, and it was a financial and critical success.


In late 1989, Henson entered into negotiations to sell his company to The Walt Disney Company for almost $150 million, hoping that he would "be able to spend a lot more of my time on the creative side of things" with Disney handling business matters. By 1990, he had completed production on the television special The Muppets at Walt Disney World and the Disney-MGM Studios attraction Muppet*Vision 3D and he was developing film ideas and a television series entitled Muppet High.


Henson appeared with Kermit on The Arsenio Hall Show on May 4, 1990; it would be his final television appearance. He disclosed to his publicist that he was tired and had a sore throat, but he felt that it would soon go away. On May 12, 1990, Henson traveled to Ahoskie, North Carolina, with his daughter Cheryl to visit his father and stepmother. They returned to their home in New York City the following day, and Henson cancelled a Muppet recording session that had been scheduled for May 14, 1990. His estranged wife came to visit that night.

Henson was having trouble breathing when he woke up at around 2:00 a.m. on May 15, 1990 and he began coughing up blood. He suggested to his wife that he might be dying, but he did not want to take time off from his schedule to visit a hospital. Two hours later, he agreed to be taken by taxi to the emergency room at New York–Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Shortly after admission, he stopped breathing and was rushed into the intensive care unit. X-ray images taken of his chest revealed that he had multiple abscesses in both of his lungs as a result of a previous bacterial infection. He was placed on a ventilator but quickly deteriorated over the next several hours despite increasingly aggressive treatment with multiple antibiotics; although the medicine killed off most of the infection, it had already weakened Henson's body in many of his organs.

On May 16, 1990, Henson died at New York Hospital at 1:21 a.m. He was 53. Dr. David Gelmont announced that Henson had died from Streptococcus pneumoniae, an infection that causes bacterial pneumonia. However, on May 29, 1990, Gelmont reclassified it as organ dysfunction resulting from streptococcal toxic shock syndrome caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Gelmont noted Henson may have been saved had he chosen to undergo antibiotic treatment even just a few hours sooner, which he did not do. Medical expert Lawrence D. Altman also stated Henson's death "may have shocked many Americans who believed that bacterial infections no longer could kill with such swiftness."

News of Henson's death spread quickly and admirers of his work responded from around the world with tributes and condolences. Many of Henson's co-stars and directors from Sesame Street, the Muppets, and other works also shared their thoughts on his death. On May 21, 1990, Henson's public memorial service was conducted in Manhattan at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Another was conducted on July 2, 1990, at St Paul's Cathedral in London. In accordance with Henson's wishes, no one in attendance wore black, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band finished the service by performing "When the Saints Go Marching In". Harry Belafonte sang "Turn the World Around", a song that he had debuted on The Muppet Show, as each member of the congregation waved a brightly colored foam butterfly attached to a puppet performer's rod. Later, Big Bird walked onto the stage and sang Kermit's signature song "Bein' Green". Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Frank Oz, Kevin Clash, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, and Richard Hunt sang a medley of Henson's favorite songs in their characters' voices, ending with a performance of "Just One Person". The funeral was described by Life as "an epic and almost unbearably moving event". Henson was cremated and in 1992, his ashes were scattered near Taos in New Mexico.


One of Henson's last projects was the attraction Muppet*Vision 3D, which opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 16, 1991, exactly one year after his death. The Jim Henson Company retains the Creature Shop as well as the rest of its film and television library, including Fraggle Rock, Farscape, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. Brian Jay Jones published Jim Henson: The Biography on September 24, 2013, Henson's 77th birthday.


Henson sold the rights to the Wilkins' Coffee, who allowed marketing executive John T. Brady to sell the rights to some toymakers and film studios. However, in July 1992 Brady was sued by Jim Henson Productions for unfair competition in addition to copyright and trademark infringement. The Henson company claimed that Brady was incorrectly using Henson's name and likeness in their attempts to license the characters.


Sesame Workshop acquired the Sesame Street characters in 2000. On February 17, 2004, the Muppets and the Bear in the Big Blue House properties were sold to the Walt Disney Company.

Family Life

Jim married Jane Henson on May 28, 1959, and they raised five children together named Brian, John, Lisa, Heather and Cheryl.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Jim Henson is 86 years, 2 months and 8 days old. Jim Henson will celebrate 87th birthday on a Sunday 24th of September 2023. Below we countdown to Jim Henson upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

81st birthday - Sunday, September 24, 2017


Today would have been Jim Henson's 81st Birthday. One of the great joys in my life is that I had the pleasure of meeting him.

Jim Henson 81st birthday timeline

Jim Henson trends


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