Caroll Spinney, puppeteer behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch dies at 85

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Sesame Street's Big Bird And Puppeteer Caroll Spinney Light The Empire State Building at The Empire State Building on November 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

(WJW) Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer behind Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch died Sunday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 85.

That’s according to Sesame Workshop.

They report Spinney had been living with Dystonia for some time.

Spinney had been with Sesame Street since 1969.

He leaves behind a wife, 3 children and several grandchildren.

Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said of her longtime colleague and friend, “Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless. He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well. We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world.”

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