Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer and actor behind “Sesame Street’s” Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, died at the age of 85 on Sunday.  He died at his home in Connecticut, according to a press release from Sesame Workshop. Spinney had worked on the beloved children’s show for nearly 50 years, serving as the puppeteer for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since the show’s premiere in 1969. Spinney had been diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological movement disorder that produces involuntary muscle contractions, cramps and other symptoms, causing him to retire from puppeteering the two characters in 2018.

Operating Big Bird no small job, he would hold the 5-pound head in his right hand while working the mouth and eyebrows and hand he operated both of Big Bird’s arms with his left.



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