Caroll Spinney, Iconic Voice Of Big Bird On ‘Sesame Street,’ Retires After Nearly 50 Years
Spinney, who also played Oscar the Grouch, will reportedly leave the show officially on Thursday. Sesame Street films in Astoria, Queens in New York City and first premiered in 1969.
Long-time puppeteer Caroll Spinney has announced that he is stepping down from the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Spinney is pleased that his iconic roles will be carried on by puppeteers Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson. Learn more: https://t.co/BALgkIPI5q pic.twitter.com/sGMDjqLklQ
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) October 17, 2018
“Big Bird helped me find my purpose,” Spinney, 84, said in a statement. “Even as I step down from my roles, I feel I will always be Big Bird. And even Oscar, once in a while! They have given me great joy, led me to my true calling and created a lifetime of memories that I will cherish forever.”
Spinney, who also played other minor characters on the children’s series, won six Emmys (including a Lifetime Achievement Award) and two Grammys. He also boasts a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was named a “Living Legend” in 2000 by the Library of Congress.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Spinney said the part of Big Bird was a great fit for him for several different reasons.
“I’m a soloist,” he explained. “I’m not good with a team. I’m out of sync with the rest. They’re all going left at the same time, while I’m the only one going right.” He also said it could be “very lonely in there … I was separated from everybody.”