Sesame Street legend Caroll Spinney has died, aged 85.
The puppeteer, who was the voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on the kids show for five decades, passed away on Sunday (08Dec19) at his home in Connecticut.
"Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and his legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending," a statement from Sesame Street bosses reads.
"His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while."
Spinney was forced to quit Sesame Street in 2015 due to chronic health issues, but he continued to provide the voices for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
"Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless. He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well," Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said in a statement."