JANE NEBEL HENSON (1934-2013)
Yesterday the world lost one of its most beautiful lights as Jane Henson passed away at the age of 78. Jane is the widow of Jim Henson and the mother of five children, Brian, Cheryl, Lisa, Heather, and John Henson and grandmother to numerous grandchildren. With Jim, she co-created the Muppets and performed for Sam & Friends. She later went on to found The Jim Henson Legacy which has done immeasurable good in furthering Jim Henson’s mission and celebrating his work.
Two years ago I had the immense pleasure of meeting Mrs. Henson in Peoria, Illinois when she came to speak at the opening of the Jim Henson’s Fantastic World exhibit at the museum there. Thanks to the wonderful Arthur Novell, I got the chance to speak with Jane, shake her hand, and take my picture with her. Hearing Jane speak about her and Jim’s work during the event was an unprecedented moment that stands out in my Muppet experience. Being with the co-founder of the Muppets was a true highlight.
Jane Henson’s puppetry work on Sam & Friends and a few other places is something she was quite proud of. Not many people could keep up with Jim, the master himself, with very little training. But it is Jane’s philanthropy that I most admire her for. After Jim passed away, Jane became the torch bearer for his name and his legacy–literally, when she started The Jim Henson Legacy. Jane worked hard to showcase the history of the Muppets, the importance of Jim’s work, and the talent that brought that work to life.
As Muppet fans, we all owe Mrs. Henson and immeasurable debt. Jane Henson co-founded the Muppets. She stood beside Jim Henson during his life and after. She showed the world that Jim’s legacy is important. Thank you, Jane Henson, for everything you did for the Muppets, the Muppet family, Muppet fans, and the world. The Jane Henson Legacy will never be forgotten.
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The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org