Other Interesting Richard Hunt Facts And Trivia

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Chetan Mittal
Feb 08, 2024 By Chetan Mittal
Originally Published on Feb 20, 2023
Edited by Archita Chaplot
Fact-checked by Archita Chaplot
Richard Hunt was a famous puppeteer who gave life to so many 'Sesame Street' characters.
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Age: 1-99
Read time: 6.9 Min

About Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt was a puppeteer and 'Sesame Street' star who breathed life into many famous characters.

He was also known for his appealing voice and his charismatic backstage personality. Although his flourishing career was cut short by his illness, he worked on many projects for The Jim Henson Company.

Born in The Bronx, New York, Hunt developed an avid interest in puppeteering at a young age and was inspired by the Muppets. He channeled his passion into developing his skills and soon became an integral member of Jim Henson Productions for years. Hunt died due to HIV/AIDS-related complications on January 7, 1992.

Richard Hunt Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Richard Hunt’s net worth?

Richard Hunt had an estimated net worth of $1–5 million. He amassed this staggering net worth through his successful career as a puppeteer.

How much did Richard Hunt earn per year?

Richard Hunt gave incredible performances for The Jim Henson Company, which had no doubt contributed significantly to his annual income. However, Richard Hunt did not disclose his net annual income publicly.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Richard Hunt?

Richard Hunt did not disclose details about his height.

How old was Richard Hunt?

Richard Hunt was born in The Bronx, New York, on August 17, 1951. He died on January 7, 1992, at 42, due to HIV/AIDS-related complications.

Childhood And Education

Richard Hunt was born and brought up in The Bronx, New York. He, along with his parents and brothers, moved to Closter, New Jersey, after a few years. He had four siblings, Kathleen Hunt, Adam Hunt, Lynn Russell, and Rachel Middleton.

His mother, Jane Hunt, made a cameo appearance in the 1984 American musical comedy-drama film 'The Muppets Take Manhattan'. Everyone in his family was a performer at some point, which likely inspired Hunt to build a name in the entertainment industry in his family's footsteps. When he was in middle school and high school, he used to organize puppet shows for children. The highlights of his show were moving storylines and high-quality puppetry performances.

After high school, he also worked at a local radio station. He used to give weather reports to the audience. His career took a major turn when he met Jim Henson, an American actor, animator, cartoonist, and filmmaker. While watching 'Sesame Street', Hunt realized he had an excellent opportunity to work as a puppeteer. So he went to a phone booth, called the staff members, and asked if they were hiring puppeteers. Henson was auditioning puppeteers that very day and Richard Hunt was hired due to his precision in the art of puppetry.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Richard Hunt dating?

Richard Hunt was dating Nelson Bird, a painter from Alabama.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Richard Hunt was an American puppeteer who knocked the audience's socks off with his puppetry skills. He was widely acclaimed as a Muppet performer on the American educational children's TV series 'Sesame Street'. When he first began his career in the industry, Hunt mostly performed background characters on 'Sesame Street'. 'Sesame Street' was produced by Sesame Workshop, and it had the perfect combination of animation, puppetry, live-action, and sketch comedy.

His roles on 'Sesame Street' included Don Music, Gladys the Cow, and Forgetful Jones. He gave life to tons of characters on 'The Muppet Show' and 'Fraggle Rock'. On 'The Muppet Show', he brought characters like Scooter, Beaker, Statler, Janice, and Sweetums to life. He also worked on many projects for The Jim Henson Company from the ’70s through the early ’90s. Hunt played a major role in the success of the company.

One of his first major breakthroughs was when he performed as Taminella Grinderfall in 'The Frog Prince'. Hunt puppeteered the character while Jerry Juhl voiced the character. He also played Mildred and Big Mouse in 'The Muppets Valentine Show', which was one of two pilots produced during the initial planning stages for 'The Muppet Show'. Hunt played the famous characters Scooter and Miss Piggy with Frank Oz until the first season of the show. Hunt also played minor characters in the TV special 'The Muppet Show: Sex And Violence' and also directed various home video releases like 'Sing-Along, Dance-Along, Do-Along' and 'Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game'.

He is also credited for directing an episode of 'Fraggle Rock'. 'Fraggle Rock' is a children's musical comedy puppet TV series. Hunt also played Wisss on the American late-night live TV sketch comedy show, 'Saturday Night Live.' A celebrity guest hosts each episode of the show delivers the opening monologue and participates in sketches with the cast. Hunt essayed the character of Charlie Muskrat in Emmet Otter's TV special 'Jug-Band Christmas'. The TV special is based on Russell Hoban's book and features some of the most entertaining Muppet characters. Later, Hunt was also seen playing the character of George Rabbit on the show.

During the late ’80s, Hunt tried his luck in new productions and essayed fresh characters. He performed the character of Tug Monster on the 1985 Saturday morning TV show 'Little Muppet Monsters' and The Wild Impresario on the TV series 'The Ghost Of Faffner Hall'. The TV series is aimed at children, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop created the puppets for this show.

Hunt also appeared in several television and movie productions. He essayed the character of a taxi driver in the British-American musical heist comedy movie 'The Great Muppet Caper'. He was also seen as Wilson in the 1983 American comedy movie 'Trading Places'. He worked in the movie alongside Dan Aykroyd, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The movie revolves around the life of an upper-class commodities broker and a poor street hustler whose lives get swapped.

Richard Hunt’s Hobbies And Interests

Richard Hunt liked watching puppet shows and traveling to new places.

Other Interesting Richard Hunt Facts And Trivia

  • Richard Hunt performed various characters on 'Sesame Street' including Placido Flamingo, Forgetful Jones, Don Music, Sully, and Gladys the Cow. He also performed the famous character Elmo in 'Sesame Street'. After some time, Kevin Clash was hired to perform Elmo.
  • Hunt was a close friend of Jerry Nelson, an American puppeteer renowned for his singing and puppetry abilities. Not only did they perform together, but they also paired various characters like Hunt's Janice with Nelson's Floyd Pepper, the Two-Headed Monster, and Hunt's Gorg with Nelson's Pa Gorg on the children's musical comedy TV show 'Fraggle Rock'.
  • On 'Fraggle Rock,' Hunt performed the characters, Gunge and Junior Gorg. He also performed one-time guest characters on the show. Richard Hunt's involvement with the show was mainly during its first season. His characters did not appear in every episode.
  • Hunt was the main performer on the show 'Sesame Street,' but none of his 'Sesame Street' characters became major characters in the show. His minor characters like Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster gained more popularity.
  • Richard Hunt also served as a mentor to the puppeteers who did not have any experience in the field. When a new puppeteer joined the cast of 'Sesame Street', Hunt would guide and train them. He also helped them improve their performances and encouraged them to use breakthrough ideas. He also shared an amicable relationship with them and often took them to lunch.
  • He would often read the newspaper as if he was enacting a role and doing the character lines.
  • In an interview, Richard Hunt said that his earlier job of preparing weather reports was incredibly boring. He used to put his hand out the radio station window and write the weather report. Therefore, he quit the job and searched for better opportunities.
  • His ashes were sprinkled over his home in Closter when he was cremated.
  • After his death, a few of his characters in children's movies and TV series were recast with new performers. But only a few of them could perform with the precision Hunt had.
  • By 2000, most of the main Muppet Show characters performed by Hunt were given to other talented performers like David Rudman and Steve Whitmire.
  • 'The Muppet Christmas Carol', an American Christmas musical comedy-drama film, was dedicated in memory of Richard Hunt and Jim Henson. The former could not reprise his role in the film.
  • Richard Hunt entertained the cast and crew on set by mimicking the other puppeteers. He morphed into the personality of whichever puppet was on hand.

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Other Interesting Richard Hunt Facts And Trivia Facts

Date of Birth

1951-08-17

Date of Death

1992-01-07

Nationality

American

Place of Birth

The Bronx

Child Star?

No

Net Worth

5000000
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Sources

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Written by Chetan Mittal

Bachelor of Journalism

Chetan Mittal picture

Chetan MittalBachelor of Journalism

With a Bachelor's in Journalism from Amity University and copywriting, Chetan is an accomplished content writer who has demonstrated his versatility through his work with various companies across diverse industries, including media, travel, business, and hospitality. Additionally, Chetan is an accomplished Punjabi show director who brings his creative skills to his writing. His passion for traveling, dancing, and reading informs his content, producing high-quality work that engages and informs his audience.

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