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JIM HENSON Jim Henson was born on September 24 1936 in Greenville Mississippi He moved to Maryland in fifth grade and throughout his childhood had a strong interest in both art and television His grandmother was very supportive of his interests and constantly encouraged him to use his imagination In 1954 Jim started in television performing puppets on a local channels Saturday morning program The next year while studying at the University of Maryland he was given a five-minute show called Sam and Friends which aired twice a day This show introduced the first Muppets marionette puppets The success of this show led him to many appearances on shows such as The Today Show and The Steve Allen Show During this time Jim began making many humorous commercials for sponsors With weekly appearances on these shows Jim asked for the help of a puppet maker name Don Sahlin and a puppeteer name Frank Oz From 1964 to 1969 Henson produced several experimental films In the mid-60s Jim was asked to create characters to populate a new childrens show Sesame Street It was here where he made some of his most famous characters such as Ernie and Bert Oscar the Grouch Cookie Monster and Big Bird On this show Jim produced over two dozen shorts to teach counting and other basics Soon after his fame on Sesame Street Jim after promoting the idea for The Muppet Show for years finally received backing to produce On this show the most famous Muppet of all Kermit the Frog was introduced along with Miss Piggy Rizzo the Rat Rowlf the Dog Fozzie Bear and of course Gonzo the Whatever The Muppet Show became the most widely viewed television program in the world From this show many movies and spin-off television shows have been produced Jim Henson died in 1990 from pneumonia right after his last project for Muppet Vision 3-D an attraction for Disney
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