The Puppeteer Who Plays Big Bird on 'Sesame Street' is Retiring

The man behind two of the most beloved characters in television history is set to retire after playing them for nearly 50 years and in relative obscurity.

Carroll Spinney, who’s been Big Bird and the voice of Oscar the Grouch since the very first episode of Sesame Street back in 1969, will hang up his beak.

At 84, the physical demands of Big Bird were proving to be too much. So Carroll decided that the 50th anniversary airing next year was an appropriate finish line.

Today he will record his parts for that TV special and this will be his last day working on Sesame Street. He has appeared in essentially all of the more than 4,400 episodes.

Caroll has zero regrets, telling the New York Times: "I always thought, How fortunate for me that I got to play the two best Muppets? Playing Big Bird has been one of the most joyous things of my life."


Photo: Getty Images

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan is quite simply one of the most influential, well-regarded, and well-known names in Hollywood. He is the quintessential Hollywood insider who always manages to have the biggest scoops and the most sought after access to top events and celebrities. Read more

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