Bye bye, Big Bird: Sesame Street puppet star dies at 85

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who brought boyish vulnerability to Big Bird during 50 years on the children’s television show ‘Sesame Street’ and even made Oscar the Grouch loveable, has died aged 85.

Spinney, who suffered from the movement disorder dystonia, had provided only Big Bird’s voice since 2015 while another puppeteer was in the costume.

“We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to ‘Sesame Street’ and to children around the world,” the show’s co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said.

Big Bird, Oscar and Spinney were part of ‘Sesame Street’ when it made its debut on November 10, 1969, with the goal of entertaining and educating young children.

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Spinney announced his retirement in October 2018 after completing episodes that were aired in 2019 to mark the show’s 50th year.

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