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Jim Henson Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

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Jim Henson Birthday Highlights

Birth Name
Place Of Birth
Greenville, USA
87 years old
Birth Date
September 24 1936

Jim Henson Facts

Child Star?
Puppeteer, Filmmaker, Inventor, Cartoonist, Animator
Education & Qualifications
University of Maryland
Net Worth
Current Partner
Jane Nebel
Brian, Heather, John, Cheryl, Lisa
Betty Marcella, Paul Henson
Paul Henson Jr.

About Jim Henson

Jim Henson was an alumnus of the University of Maryland.

The Jim Henson company is based in Los Angeles, California. The company is famous for its innovations in puppetry and created the Muppets and Kermit The Frog characters.

Jim Henson was a screenwriter, inventor, actor, cartoonist, animator, producer, and puppeteer from Greenville, Mississippi. He received worldwide fame for creating 'Fraggle Rock' and The Muppets and directing 'Labyrinth' and 'The Dark Crystal.'

Jim Henson grew up in Mississippi's Leland and Maryland's University Park. He was active from 1954 until he died in 1990 in New York City. Jim Henson was also the founder of Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He had five children. Jim Henson received Emmy Award, Inkpot Award, and Disney Legends award.

He not developed characters for 'The Muppet Show' but also for the 'Sesame Street' television series. Some of Henson's characters that remain famous today, including Kermit The Frog, are Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Miss Piggy, and Rowlf The Dog. He was married to Jane Nebel for more than two decades. We will also discuss his birthday, net worth, earnings, awards, educational background, and hobbies.

Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Jim Henson's net worth?

The estimated net worth of Jim Henson was $20 million at the time of his death. He gained this wealth mainly by being a puppeteer and running his own businesses.

How much did Jim Henson earn per year?

The amount of annual salary earned by Jim Henson during his lifetime is unknown. His primary source of earnings was as a screenwriter, puppeteer, producer, actor, and his two companies.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Jim Henson?

Jim Henson was 6 ft 1 in (185 cm) in height.

How old was Jim Henson?

Jim Henson was 53 years old when he died in 1990.

Childhood And Education

Jim Henson was born James Maury Henson in Mississippi's Greenville on September 24, 1936, to Betty Marcella and Paul Ransom Henson under the zodiac sign of Libra.

Jim Henson had blue eyes and brown hair. His father was an agronomist for the US Department of Agriculture. Jim Henson grew up with his older brother, Paul Ransom Henson Jr., who died in 1956 in a car accident. After spending early childhood in Mississippi, Henson and his family moved to Maryland in the late '40s. He started practicing puppetry very early on in his life.

Jim Henson graduated from Northwestern High School in 1954. In the same year, he started working for WTOP-TV, making puppets for 'The Junior Morning Show,' a children's show every Saturday morning. Jim Henson graduated with a studio arts major and home economics degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1960.

In his first year, Jim Henson created puppets for his show named 'Sam And Friends' with his future wife and classmate, Jane Nebel, for WRC-TV.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Jim Henson's partner?

Jim Henson started dating Jane Nebel after their show 'Sam And Friends.' The couple married in 1959 and had five children, two sons, John and Brian, and three daughters, Lisa, Cheryl, and Heather. Henson and Nebel divorced in 1986. All five of his children began playing with Muppets in their early childhood.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Jim Henson is best known as a producer, creator of the Muppets, puppeteer, and actor. He founded Muppets Inc. in 1958, now known as the Jim Henson Company. He directed 'The Great Muppet Caper' in 1981. Jim Henson and Frank Oz directed 'The Dark Crystal' in 1982. In 1984, 'The Muppets Take Manhattan' was produced by the Jim Henson Company and directed by Frank Oz.

In the same year, Henson created 'Jim Henson's Muppet Babies,' which premiered in September 1984 and ran until November 1991. He also directed 'Labyrinth' in 1986. In 1987, Jim Henson created 'The Story Teller' and 'Fraggle Rock.' He created 'The Jim Henson Hour in 1989. Jim Henson worked on ten movies and more than 30 television shows and voiced for video games.

'Sam And Friends' by Jim Henson and Jane Nebel was aired in 1955 and ran for over six years before ending in 1961. This show was financially successful.

After 'Sam And Friends' ended, Henson went to Europe for months. He returned to the United States after being inspired by European puppeteers. Jim Henson started working on projects for kids and commercials in the United States. The most noteworthy was a series created by Henson using Muppets to attract customers to Wilkins Coffee company. This commercial was a huge hit and Jim Henson syndicated it to use it for other local coffee shops.

He also created characters representing other industries like soft drinks, jackpot lottery, milk, and bread. Jim Henson also appeared on television talk shows like 'Jimmy Dean Show,' 'Ed Sullivan Show,' 'The Jack Parr Program,' and 'The Steve Allen Show.' Jim Henson moved to New York City with his wife in 1963. He created several puppet characters like Fozzie Bear, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Bert and Ernie. Jim Henson also explored producing experimental films like 'Time Piece' and 'The Cube.' He explored filmmaking and wrote a live-action film script for 'Tale Of Sand' with Jerry Juhl.

After using his Muppets on 'Sesame Street,' a children's show, he received international fame. It was first aired on PBS in November 1969 and was produced by the Children's Television Workshop. The show also introduced puppet characters like Elmo, Snuffleupagus, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Bert, Ernie, and Big Bird. Jim Henson stopped working on commercials. He later created shows like 'The Muppet Show: Sex And Violence' and 'The Muppet Valentine Show,' targeting the adult audience.

However, no broadcaster in America showed interest. Jim Henson received an invitation from Lew Grade, and he moved to England in 1976, where the production of 'The Muppet Show' started. This comedy tv series premiered in September 1976 and ran for five seasons with 120 episodes. The show ended in May 1981.

Henson appeared as Swedish Chef, Waldorf, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog, and Kermit the Frog in the feature film 'The Muppet Movie,' a road comedy in 1979. It was also his big-screen debut as a producer. It was a financial and critical success, making more than $65 million in Canada and the United States.

What awards did Jim Henson win?

Jim Henson received the Courage Conscience award. He won Emmy Awards for 'The Jim Henson Hour' and 'The StoryTeller.' In 1966 'Time Piece' was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the Academy award. In 1991, Jim Henson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His puppet character, Kermit the Frog, also received a star. Fordham University awarded Henson an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1982. In 1987, he became an inductee of the Television Hall of Fame. In 1987, Jim Henson received the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.

Other Interesting Jim Henson Facts And Trivia

  • Jim Henson began negotiations with Walt Disney Company to sell his company (The Jim Henson Company) in 1989 for $150 million. Before his death, he had also finished his work on 'Muppet*Vision' 3D and the production of 'The Muppets At Walt Disney World.'
  • Jim Henson died in New York City on May 16, 1990, due to Toxic Shock Syndrome. After his cremation, Henson's ashes were scattered in Taos, New Mexico. His children inherited his money.
  • 'The Red Book' is the written log of activities by Jim Henson.

Main image credit: Olga Popova / Shutterstock.com

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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