Caroll Spinney, Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Has Died.

Written by on December 9, 2019

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street from the show’s 1969 debut until his retirement in 2018, died Saturday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 85, the New York Times reports. Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that produces Sesame Street, summed up Spinney’s contributions to American culture in a statement:

His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while.

Spinney also played Big Bird, a full-body puppet who eventually evolved into a surrogate for the show’s young audience. 

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