August 26, 2012

Jerry Nelson

On August 23rd, veteran puppeteer and master muppet performer Jerry Nelson passed away at the age of 78.

Nelson puppeteered close to 1,000 characters created by the famed Jim Henson during his 47-year career. He is credited for 120 of these character performances, and was one of the original muppeteers with Jim Henson and Frank Oz.

His most notable characters included Gobo on Fraggle Rock; The Count, Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, Mr. Johnson, Simon Soundman, Little Jerry, Farley, Biff, Herbert Birdsfoot, and Snuffy (1971-1978) on Sesame Street; and he performed Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Uncle Deadly, Robin the Frog, Louis Kazagger, Fleet Scribbler, J.P. Grosse, and Slim Wilson on The Muppet Show.

Nelson was a major part of other projects featuring Jim Henson's Muppets, including the 1984 movie "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and other television series including the 1980s "Fraggle Rock" and 1990s "Muppets Tonight."

In recent years, Nelson gave up the physically demanding job of operating the Count and other puppets on "Sesame Street" but still voiced the characters. The show's new season launches in September and Nelson's voice will be heard.

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