Jerry Nelson, the man behind voice over for many characters on “Sesame Street”, “Fraggle Rock”, and “The Muppet Show”, died at his home in Cape Cod, Mass., on Thursday night after battling emphysema for many years. He was 78.
A statement released on the Sesame Workshop’s website states, “A member of the 'Sesame Street' family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters."
Nelson retired from physical pupeteering in 2004, but carried on with lending his voice to several muppets up until his death. The 43rd season of “Sesame Street”, rolling out on Sept. 24 will have Nelson’s voice as Count von Count in quite a few episodes.
Lisa Henson, Jim Henson's daughter who created the Muppets, released a statement, paying tribute to the great artist by saying, "Jerry Nelson imbued all his characters with the same gentle, sweet whimsy and kindness that were a part of his own personality. He joined the Jim Henson Co. in the earliest years, and his unique contributions to the worlds of Fraggles, Muppets, Sesame Street and so many others are, and will continue to be, unforgettable. On behalf of the Henson family and everyone at the Jim Henson Co., our deepest sympathies go out to Jerry's family and to his many fans."
Nelson was born in Tulsa, Okla., in 1934. He was one of the first members of the Henson’s company of mupeteers joining in 1965. He started with Sesame Street in its second show in 1970.
Amongst the many characters he voiced, some were the Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand and Kermit’s nephew, Robin. On “Fraggle Rock”, he voiced Gobo Fraggle and Marjory, the Trash heap, to name a few.
His voiced also featured on “The Muppets” screening last year.
He leaves behind a wife, Jan, and a daughter from a previous marriage to Jacqueline Nelson Gordon, who died of cystic fibrosis in 1982.