Sad news, folks – Sesame Street legend, Caroll Spinney has passed away at the age of 85.

According to the BBC, the US puppeteer known for bringing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life, died today at his home in Connecticut. Spinney had been living with dystonia for a number of years.

Sesame Workshop co-founder, Joan Ganz Cooney, said:

“His genius and his talent made Big Bird the most beloved yellow feathered friend across the globe.”

Prior to his retirement in 2018, Spinney had been with Sesame Street since 1969. Spinney’s final involvement with Sesame Street came with a 50th anniversary edition of the show, which aired last year.

During the course of his career, Spinney’s involvement with Sesame Street earned him six Emmy awards, two Grammy honours, and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy award. More importantly, he gained a legion of life-long fans.

If you would like to know more about Caroll Spinney and his work on Sesame Street, I urge you to seek out the 2014 docu-film, I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story. I promise you, the film will bring a smile to your face.

Caroll Spinney (1933 – 2019)