John Henson, Muppets puppeteer, dies at 48

By Andrew Lapin

John Henson, the son of Muppets creator Jim Henson and a Muppet performer himself, died Friday of a heart attack. He was 48.

Henson played the giant ogre Sweetums for decades beginning in 1987, when he took over puppeteering duties for the character from Richard Hunt, according to the Muppet Wiki. He appeared as the character in several commercial Muppets films and television shows and at Walt Disney World. As a child, Henson appeared in short films his father made for PBS’s Sesame Street.

Henson was also a board member and shareholder of the Jim Henson Company. His mother, puppeteer Jane Henson, died in April.

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