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April 05, 2013

Jane Nebel Henson, Key Figure in Development of the Muppets

As wife and creative partner of Jim Henson, she was a major collaborator in the creation of the beloved puppets.

Jane Nebel Henson, former wife and creative partner of Jim Henson, creator of the fuzzy puppets known as the Muppets, died April 2, 2013, at her home in Greenwich, Connecticut. She was 78.

According to news reports, the cause was cancer.

Jane and Jim Henson met in the mid-1950s when they were students in a puppetry class at the University of Maryland. As undergraduates, they began performing with puppets on local television in Washington, D.C.

They married in 1959 and went on to build a cultural phenomenon with the creation of the Muppets, which first appeared on television in the 1950s and debuted on the iconic children's program Sesame Street in 1969.

Eventually, the Muppets spawned a television show of their own, as well as several movies. A number of the original characters are now housed in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Jane and Jim Henson were legally separated in 1986 but remained friends until his death in 1990 at age 53. Two years later, she established The Jim Henson Legacy to preserve his artistic contributions.

Read more about her life and work at:

Variety

New York Times

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