Man Who Played Big Bird Has Died – Here’s Something You Probably Didn’t Know About Him
I love Sesame Street. I grew up watching it and when I became a mom, my sons watched Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and the gang as well. I loved Big Bird because he was so sweet and innocent, and one of my favorite story lines in Sesame Street was when Big Bird met Snuffaluffagus and no one believed Snuffy existed. Big Bird had told his Sesame Street friends about Snuffy for weeks and no one believed him, but as you can see in the clip above, they finally got to meet him and Snuffy became a regular cast member.
Caroll Spinney, the man who was Big Bird for more than 50 years, passed away at the age 85 this weekend. Jim Henson was casting his show when he met Spinney in the late 60s and asked if he would be Big Bird. Spinney played Big Bird up until last year, but had to turn over the physical portion of the character to someone else because of the demands of moving the costume. He continued to voice Big Bird even though he wasn't playing him in the suit. But did you know that Spinney also played another character on Sesame Street?
He played Oscar the Grouch, who is the complete opposite of the sweet and childlike Big Bird. He said he liked playing Oscar because "he has a power I never had. ... I can't believe that Jim gave me two such characters that have become iconic, and are a part of so many people in America growing up."
I'm so sorry for the loss of the man who originated Big Bird, but so thankful that he was a part of my and my son's lives. Thank goodness for YouTube so many more generations of kids can watch Spinney's Big Bird.