Muppets matriarch Jane Nebel Henson dies at age 78

Jane Henson poses at the 25th Anniversary of The Muppet Show at The Palace in Hollywood, California.  Credit: Getty Images
Jane Henson poses at the 25th Anniversary of The Muppet Show at The Palace in Hollywood, California.
Credit: Getty Images

Jane Nebel Henson, the former wife of Muppets creator Jim Henson who was influential in the creation of the popular U.S. TV puppet program, died on Tuesday following a long bout with cancer, The Jim Henson Company said. She was 78 years old.

Henson, who died at her home in Connecticut, was an “integral creative and business partner” in the Muppets, the company, owned by the Hensons’ five children, said in a statement. 

Jane Henson, born in Queens, New York, in 1934, was an early puppeteer, as well as puppet designer for the Muppets, best known for characters Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, who starred in numerous television programs and films.

She first met Jim Henson in puppetry class at the University of Maryland in the mid-1950s and the two went on to create together the five-minute television program “Sam and Friends,” a precursor to the Muppets.

The show served as a lead-in to “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” news show and “The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen” on a Washington, D.C., NBC affiliate.

Although Henson stopped working as a puppeteer to raise her children in the early 1960s, she was still responsible for recruiting top talent and performing on occasion on the children’s show “Sesame Street.”

Henson legally separated from her husband in 1986 prior to his death. She later founded The Jim Henson Legacy to promote his work. She is survived by her five children.

Jim Henson died in 1990 of organ failure following a bacterial infection at age 53.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.