Muppets puppeteer Jerry Nelson dies at 78


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Nelson, the puppeteer behind a menagerie of Muppet characters, including Count von Count on “Sesame Street,” died Thursday at his Cape Cod home. He was 78 years old.

His death was announced by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind “Sesame Street”, which said his health had been declining for some time.

Mr. Nelson’s best-known character was Count von Count, a humorous twist on Count Dracula with a passion for numbers. Mr. Nelson portrayed the Earl from when the character was introduced on ‘Sesame Street’ in 1972. His other characters on that show included Sherlock Hemlock, Herry Monster and the Amazing Mumford.

Mr. Nelson also took part in other projects featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets, including the 1984 film “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, the 1983-87 HBO series “Fraggle Rock” (in which he voiced the one of the main characters, Gobo Fraggle) and “Muppets Tonight”, a variety series in the tradition of the original “Muppet Show” that aired on ABC in the late 1990s.

In recent years, Mr. Nelson, who suffered from emphysema, had given up the physically demanding job of operating the Count and other puppets on “Sesame Street” but still voiced the characters, Sesame Workshop said. Her voice will be heard in the show’s new season, which premieres in September.

In 2010, Mr Nelson released an album, “Truro Daydreams”, which consisted of songs he had written and featured some of his fellow “Sesame Street” cast members.

His survivors include his wife, Jan.


Comments are closed.