Debra Spinney Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Feb 08, 2024 By Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Originally Published on Feb 20, 2023
Edited by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Read all about the life and career of Debra Spinney.
Age: 1-99
Read time: 3.5 Min

About Debra Spinney

Debra Spinney, also known as Debra Jean Gilroy, was born in Queens, New York City, US.

Debra is an American actress and manager in her professional career. Spinney is best known for her work in 'I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story', 'Big Bird In China', and 'Follow That Bird'.

Jim Henson, the Muppet master, first observed Caroll Spinney during a puppet presentation in Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite the fact that the concert had been a 'disaster', Henson was pleased with Caroll's self-control.

In February 2016, Caroll and Debra Spinney agreed to a lengthy interview at the Academy of Music located in Northampton, Massachusetts. They were asked for suggestions on how performers and puppeteers may succeed in the entertainment industry. One of the secrets, Caroll told the audience, is never to quit and not to let rejection demoralize you.

Debra Spinney Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What is Debra Spinney's net worth?

Information regarding Debra Spinney's net worth is not available.

How much does Debra Spinney earn per year?

Information regarding Debra Spinney's annual income is not known.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall is Debra Spinney?

Information regarding her height is not available.

How old is Debra Spinney?

Debra Spinney is 71 years old. She was born on January 11, 1951.

Childhood And Education

Debra Spinney was born Debra Jean Gilroy in Queens, New York City, US. Not much information is available about her childhood or family.

Family, Romance And Relationships

Who is Debra Spinney's partner?

Debra first met her late husband, Croll Spinney, on the 'Sesame Street' set in the early '70s when Debra Jean Gilroy was employed at the Sesame Workshop and married in 1979, following Caroll's divorce from his ex-wife, Janice Spinney.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Debra Spinney is often known as Debi. She is the manager and wife of Muppet performer and late husband, Caroll Spinney.

Debra Spinney was formerly the Children's Television Workshop's secretary. In the films 'Big Bird In China' and 'Follow That Bird', she and Kermit Love are given the credits 'For Big Bird' and 'Special Assistant', respectively.

According to a Caroll comic strip, she had an on-screen appearance in episode 750 of 'Sesamstrasse' in 1981 with Jon Stone and Kermit Love. She has also appeared in additional 'Sesame Street' productions and episodes.

Debra Spinney has sporadically performed in several shows as an assistant in the art department and in the background. In a sequence in Episode 1319, when Caroll was portraying Oscar, she portrayed Big Bird's legs. In an ironic turn of events, Caroll played the Big Bird puppet. In contrast, Debra played Oscar during the Sesame Street cast's performance at the 1982 Emmy Awards.

Below the frame, she performed the puppeteering for Simon Soundman during the 'Carol Sing' in A Muppet Family Christmas. She also played as Zoot for a moment in' The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years'.

By 2021, Spinney was going through her late husband's artwork in part to put up an exhibition at the Bracken Memorial Library at The Woodstock Academy. It showcases his puppets, sketchbook, posters, images, scripts, and Emmy. A book of Caroll's artwork, or maybe his holiday artwork, is another project she hopes to publish.

Other Interesting Debra Spinney Facts And Trivia

  • In the 'Sesame Street Fashion Report' comedy, Ernie refers to two fashion model trees as Caroll and Debbie. They are named after Debra Spinney and her late husband, Caroll.
  • Sesame Street's episode 3609 makes mention of Caroll Spinney's Debi proposal. Oscar practices his mock marriage proposal to Grundgetta by repeating Caroll's words, 'You will marry me, won't you?'
  • In episode 4911, Debi is identified by her initials and maiden name as 'D. J. Gilroy', which stands for Debra Jean Gilroy, in a biography of Caroll Spinney.
  • For his work on 'Sesame Street' in 2006, Debra Spinney's husband, Caroll Spinney, received five Daytime Emmy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. In 1971, he won a Grammy Award for 'Best Recording for Children'. It was for his work on 'Sesame Street'.
  • On December 8, 2019, Caroll Spinney passed away in his Connecticut home of Woodstock. He was 85 years old.

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Debra Spinney Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Deborah Spinney

Date of Birth




Place of Birth

New York City


Child Star?



Carroll Spinney
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Written by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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