(PM) – Legendary puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who is known for his roles playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, has died at 85.
Spinney voiced both characters since 1969, and recently retired from the program in October 2018. He died in his Connecticut home after suffering from Dystonia, a rare movement disorder.
Spinney received five Daytime Emmy Awards for his roles in Sesame Street.
Caroll Spinney was born in 1933 and had an obsession with puppets since he was a kid, which caused people to bully him. Spinney joined the Air Force at age 19 and served for four years.
The Sesame Workshop responded to his death: “Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and his legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending.”