This is Caroll Spinney, the Muppeteer who gave Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch their voices for almost 50 years. He passed away last Sunday at his home in Connecticut, according to the Sesame Workshop. He was 85.
The legendary puppeteer lived for some time with dystonia, which causes involuntary muscle contractions, the Sesame Workshop said in a statement.
Spinney voiced and operated the two major Muppets from their inception in 1969 when he was 36, and performed them almost exclusively into his 80s on the PBS kids’ television show that later moved to HBO. His death comes on the same day that “Sesame Street” is being honored for lifetime achievements in the arts as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.
Learn more about his life over at AP News.
(Image Credit: AP Photo/ Reed Saxon)