"Follow your enthusiasm. It's something I've always believed in. Find those parts of you life you enjoy the most. Do what you enjoy doing." -Jim Henson
Jim Henson was born on the twenty-forth day of September in the year 1936 in a small town in Mississippi. Around 1946, Henson left Mississippi with his family and moved to a small suburb of Washington DC. During high school, Henson started performing with puppets for a television station (WTOP). He then attended college and (along with one of his classmates, Jane Nebel) started working for an NBC subsidiary television company performing his own puppets on a magazine show. These puppets, which Henson called 'Muppets,' became very popular and soon received their own air time with the show of his own creation, "Sam and Friends" (1955-1961). It is during this time that Henson marries Jane Nebel (1959).
After "Sam and Friends" Henson began to pursue past interests, particularly film. In 1964, Henson created the Academy-nominated Timepiece. A surreal film regarding time in which Henson wrote, directed, produced and starred in. He also made The Cube and Youth '68 which were aired in segments on NBC's "Experiments in Television." Henson did not forget his ever-popular Muppets, whom by this time have a large following. Henson produced three more made-for-TV movies starring the Muppets. "Hey Cinderella!" (1968), "Tales from Muppetland- The Frog Prince" (1971), and "The Muppet Musicians of Bremen" (1972). Henson continued to create some very interesting worlds and in the process create new ways/techniques to use puppetry. Henson gained additional support when he found Jerry Juhl, Don Sahlin, and Frank Oz during the 1960's.
"Jim truly cared about the world. His work for the environment came from deep within..." -Bill Pardy (one of the Muppet writers)
Today, through his family, the artwork started by Henson is now carried out through Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Jim Henson Productions and Jim Henson Pictures. Shows such as "Muppet's Tonight", "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Suess", and the "Bear in the Blue House" and films such as The Adventures of Pinocchio and Buddy were created by these companies.
Jim Henson brought such magic to television, movies and music. It is so sad to think he is no longer with us, but then maybe he is not really gone, but within us all.
Some of Henson's Main Characters
Rowlf the Dog
Sam and Friends
The Swedish Chef
"Jim Henson reached his life goals in many ways. He not only brought respect to the art of puppetry in the United States, but also appealed to the child in all of us as he gave us characters to love in common bond with people around the world. In doing so, he not only left the world a better place, but will continue to have a positive impact for generations to come." -Deanne Durrett
The Importance of Jim Henson by Deanne Durrett
The Art of the Muppets by Henson Associates
Meet Jim Henson by Louise Gilkow
Of Muppets and Men by Christopher Finch
Jim Henson: The Works by Christopher Finch
No Strings Attached: Jim Henson's Creature Shop
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