The Muppet Show made its television debut back in 1976 and has enjoyed enduring popularity thanks to well-loved characters such as Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear. In its lifetime, it has generated six critically-acclaimed cinematic spin-offs in the 1980s and 1990s as well as numerous TV films.
As a matter of fact, in 2011, “The Muppets” proved a box office smash, grossing $158,431,237 and picking up an Oscar for “Best Original Song” along the way. It did so well that they’re planning the sequel, “The Muppets… Again”, in which Ricky Gervais has signed up for the lead role.
“The Muppets” was the brainchild of Jim Henson and Jane Henson. The couple met at a puppetry class at the University of Maryland. After graduating in fine arts, Jane worked with Jim on television show, “Sam and Friends” as a performer, puppet designer, and business partner, before collaborating on “The Muppet Show”. She helped design many of the show’s illustrious characters, including Kermit and Miss Piggy.
Yesterday, however, it was reported that 78-year-old Jane Henson has died after a long battle with cancer. A statement from the Jim Henson Company described her as an “integral creative and business partner” in the Muppets.
A memorial mass for Jane, the woman who supported Jim’s artistic vision and therefore partly responsible for the existence of the puppets we love, is planned for next week.