'Sesame Street': Big Bird Actor Caroll Spinney Retiring From Series

'Sesame Street': Big Bird Actor Caroll Spinney Retiring From Series

He was also the subject of the critically acclaimed 2014 documentary "I Am Big Bird" about his life as a master puppeteer. It was Spinney, victor of a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award, who made the decision to play Big Bird as "a child, a surrogate", rather than "a amusing, dumb country yokel".

Sesame Street, created by Jim Henson and now airing first-run episodes on HBO after 45 years on PBS, said a pair of puppeteers mentored by Spinney will take over his roles.

Big Bird visited China with Bob Hope in 1979 and even showed off his massive dancing skills with with the Rockettes and prima ballerina Cynthia Gregory.

In 2015, Spinney told the Guardian that Big Bird was initially a bit part before he developed it into one of the most recognisable figures in children's TV.

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"Before I came to Sesame Street, I didn't feel like what I was doing was very important", he admitted. And even Oscar, once in a while! "His genius and his talent made Big Bird the most beloved yellow feathered friend across the globe". The actor said he plans to spend the rest of his life as an ambassador for Sesame Workshop at conventions and other public appearances. They have given me great joy, led me to my true calling - and my wonderful wife! "He can learn with the kids", Spinney said in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday.

The roles brought Spinney, who is also an accomplished author and visual artist, acclaim.

Spinney is one of the last surviving Sesame Street staffers who've been with the show since its beginnings. Vogel also fills the role of Count von Count on Sesame Street, while Jacobson now plays Grover, Bert and Guy Smiley on the series.

Outside of Sesame Street, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch have also appeared in multiple Muppet movies, including The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan, the feature-length-film Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird is a must-watch for children.

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