Big Bird Muppeteer, Caroll Spinney, Dies at 85

THR is reporting that Caroll Spinney, the Muppeteer who who wore Sesame Street character Big Bird for almost a half-century, died Sunday.

According to the outlet, this was confirmed by the Sesame Workshop. The report continued:

Spinney, who also operated and voiced Oscar, Big Bird’s grumpy trash can-dwelling neighbor, before retiring from the iconic kids program in October 2018, died at his home in Connecticut after “living with dystonia for some time.”

Spinney collected five Daytime Emmy Awards for his contributions to Sesame Street and received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2006, entrancing hundreds of millions of kids along the way.

“He managed to learn to speak directly to the hearts of probably anything from 2-year-olds to 5-, 6-, 7-year-olds — and to grown-ups, as a matter of fact,” fellow Sesame Street veteran Bob McGrath said in the 2015 documentary I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story. “It was most apparent to us the first time we got out and really performed for kids. Anytime you mentioned Big Bird, the place erupted. It was like a mini Woodstock.”

He was 85.

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