Carroll Spinney, ′Sesame Street′ puppeteer who brought Big Bird to life, dies | News | DW | 08.12.2019
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Carroll Spinney, 'Sesame Street' puppeteer who brought Big Bird to life, dies

Sesame Workship hailed their colleague as "an artistic genius" with a "kind of loving view of the world." Spinney won many prestigious awards over his career for his beloved characters.

The famed creator and puppeteer of the beloved 'Sesame Street' characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Carroll Spinney, died at his home in Connecticut at the age of 85, Sesame Workshop said in a statement Sunday.

"Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades," his colleagues said.

"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."

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Spinney's death came after a long battle with the neural disorder dystonia.

The timing was bittersweet as Sesame Street celebrates its 50th birthday and prepares on Sunday to receive one of the US' most prestigious arts awards at the Kennedy Center Honors. The show has already won 200 Emmys, several of which were won by Spinney personally.

At the time of his retirement, Spinney said that Big Bird had "opened my mind and nurtured my soul."

Spinney was the subject of the critically acclaimed 2014 documentary "I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story."

es/rc (AFP, Reuters)

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