NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For the primary time ever—a complete biography of one of the most 20th century’s such a lot leading edge ingenious artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson

He used to be a gradual dreamer whose genial bearded visage used to be known world wide, however the general public were given to grasp him simplest throughout the iconic characters born of his fertile creativeness: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Leave out Piggy, Large Chook. The Muppets made Jim Henson a family identify, however they had been simply a part of his exceptional tale.

This atypical biography—written with the beneficiant cooperation of the Henson circle of relatives—covers the entire arc of Henson’s all-too-temporary existence: from his early life in Leland, Mississippi, over time of burgeoning reputation in The united states, to the last decade of world superstar that preceded his premature loss of life at age fifty-3. Drawing on loads of hours of latest interviews with Henson’s circle of relatives, buddies, and closest collaborators, in addition to unheard of get admission to to non-public circle of relatives and corporate data, Brian Jay Jones explores the introduction of the Muppets, Henson’s contributions to Sesame Side road and Saturday Evening Reside, and his just about ten-yr marketing campaign to deliver The Muppet Show to tv. Jones supplies the creative context for Henson’s non-Muppet tasks, together with the richly imagined worlds of The Darkish Crystal and Labyrinth—in addition to attention-grabbing misfires like Henson’s dream of starting an inflatable psychedelic nightclub.

An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures the entire sides of this American authentic: the grasp craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on tv, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess received him a name as “the brand new Walt Disney,” and the ingenious crew chief whose collaborative ethos earned him the timeless loyalty of everybody who labored for him. Right here is also perception into Henson’s intensely non-public private existence: his Christian Technological know-how upbringing, his love of speedy vehicles and costly artwork, and his weak point for girls. Although an optimist by way of nature, Henson used to be haunted by way of the perception that he do not need time to do the entire issues he sought after to do in existence—a terror that his heartbreaking ultimate hours might end up all too smartly based.

An up-shut take a look at the charmed lifetime of a legend, Jim Henson offers the entire degree to a person whose cheerful genius transcended age, language, geography, and tradition—and keeps to beguile audiences {worldwide|world wide}.


Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the extraordinary guy and his Muppet strategies: It’s an absolute will have to-learn!”—Neil Patrick Harris

“An exhaustive paintings that may be by no means hard, a credit score each to Jones’s brisk taste and to Henson’s outstanding existence.”The New York Times

“[A] sweeping portrait that may be a mixture of humor, mirth and poignancy.”—Washington Unbiased Evaluation of Books

“A meticulously researched tome chock-stuffed with gemstones concerning the Muppets and probably the most thorough portrait in their author ever crafted.”—Related Press

Brian Jay Jones on Jim Henson: The Biography

Brian Jay Jones

Biographers have the original accountability—and privilege—of residing with their topics for the years they’re doing their analysis and writing. Frankly, I couldn’t have requested for higher Corporate over the past 5 years. Jim Henson has been a part of my existence—and most definitely a part of yours—for almost so long as I will needless to say. I used to be whilst Sesame Side road premiered in 1969, and 9 whilst The Muppet Show debuted in 1976. That virtually makes me Muppets Era 1.0. Why might I make a choice to put in writing approximately Jim Henson, then? Heck, why wouldn’t I?

For probably the most phase, the majority of the analysis for this biography used to be carried out the old school means: sitting in an archive—on this case, The Jim Henson Corporate data in Lengthy Island Town, New York—and turning over files one by one. I learn via Jim’s non-public diaries, tested handwritten notes—once in a while simply scraps of paper with concepts for a personality identify or a slapdash drawing of a brand new Muppet—pored via trade papers and receipts, and poked via innumerable TV scripts and movie proposals, a lot of which by no means made it any longer than Jim’s in moderation typed notes. For the primary time, you’ll examine many of those tasks, and learn the way exhausting Jim labored to deliver techniques like The Muppet Show to tv.

I additionally had the excitement of interviewing all 5 Henson youngsters and his widow, Jane—who gave up the ghost in advance this yr—in addition to numerous colleagues, buddies, and collaborators. We spoke in residing rooms in London, workshops in New York, and movie studios in Burbank. We talked over breakfast in inns and brunches in diners. And after we couldn’t meet in particular person, we talked on phones and Skype, or wrote each and every different e-mails. Virtually to an individual, everybody used to be open, fair, and considerate approximately Jim and his paintings—and, as you’ll most definitely believe, many had been additionally very, very humorous.

Finally, after all, there used to be the natural delight in going again via Jim’s paintings, staring at Muppets and Fraggles and Skeksis and Storytellers with a keener appreciation of ways Jim wove his existence into his artwork, and his artwork via his existence. Any time you’ll watch episodes of The Muppet Show, or vintage pictures of Jim blowing up his Muppets on The Ed Sullivan Show and get in touch with it paintings, you’ve formally were given one of the most very best jobs anyplace.

It took 5 years to get Right here—and now, ultimately, it’s your flip to Reside with Jim Henson. I believe you’ll to find he’s just about precisely as you wish to have him to be: in fact sort, dazzlingly inspirational, immensely proficient and—as Frank Ozsaid—“delightfully imperfect.” No longer unhealthy for a child from the swamps of Mississippi.

“It’s a excellent existence,” Jim as soon as wrote. “Experience it.” And I’m hoping you’ll Experience Jim Henson.

A Glance Inside of Jim Henson: The Biography

Editing Table

Jim at the modifying desk in 1972 as performer John Lovelady,
fashion designer Bonnie Erickson, builder Faz Fazakas, and designer
Don Sahlin Glance on.

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Fragle Rock Cast

Jim and the forged of Fraggle Rock. Airing on HBO from 1983
to 1987, the display used to be the community’s first authentic collection—the
colourful ancestor to presentations like The Sopranos or Game of Thrones.

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Fraggle Rock

Jim liked acting the sage Cantus at the set
of Fraggle Rock.

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Jim Henson

Jim Henson

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