David Goelz Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Jaba Sharma
Feb 08, 2024 By Jaba Sharma
Originally Published on Feb 06, 2023
Edited by Deepali Singhal
Fact-checked by Deepali Singhal
David Goelz Birthday & Fun Facts
Age: 1-99
Read time: 8.3 Min

About David Goelz

David Charles Goelz, also known as Dave Goelz, is a puppeteer and voice actor.

In the early '70s, Jim Henson and the company hired Dave Goelz to create Muppets for a number of television projects. By the time 'The Muppet Show' production got underway, Jim Henson and Frank Oz had persuaded Dave Goelz to join them as a puppeteer.

Dave Goelz revealed that he was suddenly paired up with a different and enormous star every week when he joined 'The Muppet Show', and he had no prior experience. He was so disoriented. Due to this, the character became more humble and felt out of place during the first season.

The Great Gonzo and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, two iconic characters created by Dave Goelz, quickly gained notoriety. He later rose to prominence as a principal Muppeteer and one of the Jim Henson Company's top performers.

David Goelz Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What is David Goelz’s net worth?

The approximate net worth of Dave Goelz is $15 million.

How much does David Goelz earn per year?

The annual income of Dave Goelz is not available.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall is David Goelz?

Dave Goelz is 5 ft 10 in (178 cm) tall. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

How old is David Goelz?

Born on July 16, 1946, Dave Goelz is 76 years old as of 2022.

Childhood And Education

David Charles Goelz was born in  Los Angeles, California, United States.

As a young boy, Dave Goelz was drawn to puppetry and the children's television program Time for Beany.

Dave Goelz attended the Los Angeles Art Center's College of Design for his high school education before starting his career as an industrial designer.

The mechanically minded Goelz held positions with businesses like Hewlett-Packard, American Airlines, and John Deere.

Goelz began dabbling with puppet building while working full-time for an electronics firm.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who is David Goelz’s partner?

Dave Goelz wed Debra when he was 46. She was a Former vice president of Finance for Jim Henson Productions. They have two kids together.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

While on vacation in New York City in 1972, Dave Goelz attended daily tapings of 'Sesame Street' and met Frank Oz at a puppetry festival. Goelz showed Jim Henson his design portfolio a few months later.

As a part-time puppet builder in 1973, Dave Goelz was given the chance to work for Henson Associates. His first task was to create effects and build puppets for a potential Broadway production. 'The Muppets Valentine Show', an ABC pilot for which Goelz created characters and made his acting debut as Brewster, a character he also designed, quickly replaced the show, though, and it was soon canceled.

Dave Goelz established a business making puppets and videos for industrial videos after discovering he had been replaced by his electronics employer upon his return to California. Henson gave him the chance to continue working with his industrial clients while also providing him with a full-time position as a builder/designer and infrequent performer in specials eight months later, in the fall of 1974.

Once back in New York, Dave Goelz started developing the new host character, Nigel, for "The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence." He also created Animal, Zoot, and Floyd Pepper from sketches by Michael K. Frith, Bonnie Erickson, and Jim Henson. Zoot became his first major character.

Dave Goelz traveled to London in 1976 with the rest of the Henson crew to start production on The Muppet Show. Goelz was elevated to the title of 'Principal Muppet Performer'. He was given the starring role of The Great Gonzo, in addition to reprising his role as Zoot and playing supporting roles, as in the earlier specials.

The puppet made its debut as Cigar Box Frackle in The Great Santa Claus Switch. It had made brief appearances with various performers in the Muppet Meeting Films and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. The creation's permanent name and puppeteer title were now bestowed upon it. However, David Goelz continued to work for the Muppet Workshop in addition to playing Gonzo.

Along with switching between the manic Gonzo and the phlegmatic Boober as the '80s went on, Dave Goelz occasionally took on new roles in specials, such as Rugby Tiger in 'The Christmas Toy'. He recalled himself as a cute little tiger cub which was just so much fun—naive, self-absorbed, and self-satisfied. He was adored by the crew. Although it didn't receive much attention on the show, it was fun to do with the team.

Later seasons introduced Beauregard, a dimwitted but well-intentioned janitor, as a new Goelz character.

After the untimely passing of Jim Henson in 1990, the significance of Gonzo, the character, and Goelz, the performer, increased. Frank Oz kept up his commitment to directing, starting with the debut of the new film, 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'.

Dave Goelz received top billing as the 'Muppet Performer' and largely controlled the Muppet side of the movie by portraying Gonzo as Charles Dickens as the narrator. He simply loved acting out the part of Charles Dickens. It was written by Jerry Juhl as a means of incorporating Dickensian prose into the film. But he was very happy with his decision to go with Gonzo.

Additionally, Dave Goelz replaced Henson in the role of Waldorf. Gonzo, the character, and Goelz, the performer, both had their first leading role in a Muppet production with Muppets From Space.

Stinky the Skunk in 'The Animal Show' was Dave Goelz's most notable new television character, aside from a brief stint playing Earl Sinclair's face, performing hand puppet guest characters on Dinosaurs, and reprising Rugby in 'The Secret Life Of Toys'. The Puppeteer otherwise remained primarily preoccupied with Gonzo in films, videos, and the 1996 television series 'Muppets Tonight', which featured a few brand-new characters like Randy Pig and Bill the Bubble Guy.

The voice actor also played a few minor 'Sesame Street' characters. He starred as Humongous Chicken in 'The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland'. The first few episodes of 'Statler And Waldorf: From The Balcony' is among his most well-known works.

In an interview for the 2004 film 'Threat', Dave Goelz described the demanding schedule of working full-time both in front of and behind the scenes. He claimed he spent his typical day hopping back and forth between creating puppets and giving performances. Of course, he had no performing arts knowledge. As a result, he was learning on the job, which he found to be a very stressful situation.

Dave Goelz gave voice to Baffi the Fizzgig in the Netflix original series 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' (2019). Goelz said he enjoyed the ambiance of 'Dark Crystal'. Because it was essentially unprecedented, it ended up being a very stimulating project. The Skeksis had to file past the Skeksis emperor's deathbed on the very first day they were filming, which was played by Jim. He was inside the Garthim Master Skeksis in the very first shot, with another puppeteer performing the right hand. He simply stepped off the platform and began to fall while blind, save for a small monitor on my chest. Fortunately, someone saw them and grabbed them, lifting them back up.

Charity Work

The Jim Henson Company organized Puppets for Puppetry, a charity event honoring renowned puppeteer Dave Goelz and benefiting The Center for Puppetry Arts.

What awards has David Goelz won?

For 'The Muppet Show (1976)', Dave Goelz received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series. He also won the BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film for The Muppets (2011).

Dave Goelz won the Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children for 'The Muppet Movie'.

Other Interesting David Goelz Facts And Trivia

  • Dave Goelz provided voice and puppetry for the television show 'Fraggle Rock' and the film 'Labyrinth'.
  • When Dave Goelz was producing 'The Muppet Show', he said that the only things he had reason to be concerned about were death and laundry. This remark served as the inspiration for Boober Fraggle.
  • Gonzo was a work in progress, much like many other new Muppet Show creations, especially for Goelz, who played his first starring character and notable speaking role. He panicked when given the role and claimed that he lacked voice! Goelz was terrified when he had to sing for the first time because he thought his voice was the worst of all the Muppet performers.
  • The early Gonzo, with his permanently sad expression, inspired the novice puppeteer to portray him in a similarly depressed portrayal. He claimed that his glum expression made him amenable to play because that was exactly how he felt. He was a stage actor impostor. On the job, he was picking up performance and puppeteering skills.
  • Goelz's insecurity was exacerbated by the fact that the ATV Studios' jaded veteran crew members, who had previously worked with Bing Crosby and Julie Andrews, were hard to impress.
  • Gonzo had a scene near the end of the first season where he had to exclaim, 'No!' in surprise. When Jim Henson told him to go bigger, Goelz obliged with an exaggerated 'NO!' His first laugh came from the crew members. After the first season, he asked Jim if I could create a Gonzo with an eye mechanism. He replied, 'Sure', and returned to New York to carry it out. It was much more entertaining now that he could express his excitement and enthusiasm for his silly acts.
  • Dave Goelz related the process of character creation for the show at Muppetfest and claimed that they observed the performers, picked out the flaws and created characters out of them. They objected. So that's how he came to be friends with the suspicious and paranoid character Boober.
  • Dave Goelz talked about how he developed Traveling Matt's character in the interviews for 'Fraggle Rock: Complete Second Season'. From the point where Matt was initially thought of as just a misinterpreter of human life to the realization that Matt was also inherently clumsy and inept. It caused Matt to correct his errors in his postcards and acquire a comedic air of ostentation.

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David Goelz Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

David Charles Goelz

Date of Birth

1946-07-16

Nationality

American

Place of Birth

Los Angeles

Age

Height

178 cm

Eye Color

Brown

Child Star?

yes

Education

Los Angeles Art Center's College of Design

Net Worth

15000000

Partner

Debra
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Written by Jaba Sharma

Master of Business Administration

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Jaba SharmaMaster of Business Administration

A highly skilled content writer and editor, Jaba brings over six years of experience in the field to her role. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Lucknow University and a Master's degree in Business Administration with a specialization in finance from the Institute of Environment & Management, Lucknow. Jaba's meticulous approach and creative mindset naturally led her into the world of content writing. She began her career as a Website Content Writer and Backend Admin at EventTraveler Pvt. Ltd, where she gained extensive experience in creating web pages, writing, and editing content and conducting in-depth web research. 

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