Carroll Spinney





12/26/1933 , Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

Birth Name

Caroll Edwin Spinney




Carroll Spinney wanted to work with puppets on television ever since childhood. When he was a child, he would have puppet shows in his neighborhood. Then, he went into the military for fear he might be drafted. In the military, he did cartoons under the name of Ed Spinney. Later, he worked as sidekicks on Bozo the Clown. Later, he started his own puppet show called Picklepuss. One night, while perform Picklepuss, everything went wrong and was disastrous, and Jim Henson was in the audience! So after that, Jim went backstage and told Carroll "I liked what you were trying to do." And asked him he wanted to come to New York and talk about muppets. Carroll never really wanted to work in "dirty big New York". Jim Henson had Carroll perform a large pathetic looking yellow bird who had a yokel accent, and an orange grouch. Over the years, they made Big Bird look more like the one we all love and know today, as for Oscar, he was changed from orange to green after the first year. Big Bird and Oscar have made numerous television talk show appearance, and Big Bird was even once asked to guest star on The 42nd Annual Academy Awards. Big Bird even guest starred with Bob Hope. Big Bird even went to China, and became so popular with the Chinese children, that CTW (now Sesame Workshop) made the special "Big Bird in China, in which Big Bird learns his related to the Phoenix and goes to China to find it. After that, he became even more popular with China, that they refused to do their own version of Sesame Street unless they got a Big Bird too. Carroll Spinney says being a bird has made him a happier person.