Steve Whitmire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Steve Whitmire
Born Steven Lawrence Whitmire
(1959-09-24) September 24, 1959 (age 54)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.[1]
Occupation Puppeteer
Years active 1978-present
Spouse(s) Melissa Whitmire[2]

Steven Lawrence "Steve" Whitmire (born September 24, 1959) is an American puppeteer who has worked for The Jim Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, and Disney's The Muppets Studio. He has been the performer of Kermit the Frog and Ernie since the death of Jim Henson in 1990.

Career[edit]

Steve Whitmire first appeared (unpaid), as a pre-show event, at Six Flags Over Georgia. He performed with his then alter-ego puppet Otis for the children waiting to see a multimedia show.

From there Whitmire appeared on local Atlanta TV with his puppet Otis. WATL-TV was owned at that time by former Atlanta children's television host "Officer Don" Kennedy. Otis made appearances on various WATL 36 shows with Ludlow Porch, performing the Georgia Bulldogs Larry Munson, Don Kennedy and Entertainment Page host Artie Goodman. As Otis, Whitmire interviewed Olivia Newton-John during a tour promoting an album.

He worked with puppets after graduating high school, and he eventually got a job working on The Muppet Show in 1978. Since then, Whitmire has performed in almost every major Henson company project, including non-Muppet fare, such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth and Dinosaurs.

Characters performed[edit]

Whitmire has been the performer of two signature MuppetsKermit and Ernie from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show — since the death of their creator and original performer Jim Henson in 1990.

Muppet characters original to Whitmire include Rizzo the Rat,[3][4] Lips (the trumpet player from Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem), Foo-Foo (Miss Piggy's beloved dog), Fraggle Rock's Wembley Fraggle, and Bean Bunny.

Following the death of Richard Hunt and the practical retirement of Jerry Nelson, Whitmire took over the roles of Beaker and Statler. He also voiced Link Hogthrob in the Muppet RaceMania and Muppet Party Cruise video games. He also recently performed Hogthrob for the 2011 movie The Muppets. The appearance featured the first speaking appearance of the puppet ever since the death of Jim Henson, the original performer of the character. Hogthrob appears in several scenes in the background and gets a moment in the spotlight as part of a barbershop quartet, singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit." He has also, since, 2008, been the new performer of another of Jim Henson's roles, The Muppet Newsman.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Other notes
1978-1981 The Muppet Show Rizzo the Rat, Lips, Foo-Foo, Fletcher Bird (voice), additional characters Performer
1979 The Muppets Go Hollywood Additional characters, extra Performer/actor
1979 The Muppet Movie Kermit the Frog (assistant for "Rainbow Connection" number), additional characters Performer
1979 John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together Additional characters Performer
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Rizzo the Rat, Lips Performer
1982 The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show Rizzo the Rat, back-up singer, additional characters Performer/actor
1982 The Dark Crystal Skeksis Scientist Performer
1983-1987 Fraggle Rock Wembley Fraggle, Sprocket, Marlon Fraggle, Murray the Minstrel, additional characters Performer
1983 Rocky Mountain Holiday Rizzo the Rat, additional characters Performer
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan Rizzo the Rat, Gill the Frog, Dog, additional characters Performer
1985 Dreamchild The Caterpillar (puppetry only), Mock Turtle (puppetry only) Puppeteer
1986 The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years Rizzo the Rat, additional characters Performer
1986 Labyrinth The Four Guards (puppetry only), Firey 4 (puppetry only), Ambrosius (puppetry only) Puppeteer
1986 The Christmas Toy Mew Performer
1986 The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Bean Bunny Performer
1987 A Muppet Family Christmas Rizzo the Rat, Lips, Sprocket, Christmas Turkey, Wembley Fraggle, Performer
1987 Inter Tube Henry, Duke Performer
1989 The Jim Henson Hour Bean Bunny, Flash, Jacques Roach, Waldo C. Graphic, Yellow Extreme, additional characters Performer
1990 The Muppets at Walt Disney World Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Lips, additional characters Performer
1990 The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Kermit the Frog Performer
1991 Muppet Vision 3D Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Waldo C. Graphic Performer
1991 Dinosaurs B.P. Richfield (puppetry), Robbie Sinclair (face), Chief Elder (face), Mr. Mason Dixon, Sonny Woody, Blarney, Judge H.T. Stone (puppetry) Performer/puppeteer
1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Sprocket, Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Belinda Cratchet, additional characters Performer
1992-? Muppet Meeting Films Flunky, Mr. Briteweight, Kermit the Frog Performer
1993 Sesame Street Stays Up Late! Ernie Performer
1993–present Sesame Street Ernie, Dr. Feel, Cookie Monster's Mother, Kermit the Frog Performer/voice
1994 Jim Henson's Animal Show Jake the Polar Bear, Wingo the Shoebill, Lawrence the Orangutan Performer
1994 Muppet Classic Theater Rizzo the Rat, Kermit the Frog Performer
1995 Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Bear, Kermit the Frog, Owl Performer
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Rizzo the Rat, Kermit the Frog, Beaker, The Dodo, Walleye Pike, Jacques Roach, Inkspots, Rats Performer
1996 Things that Fly Co-Pilot, Kermit the Frog Performer
1999 CinderElmo Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Prince the Dog Performer
1998 Elmopalooza Kermit the Frog, Ernie Performer
1994 Muppet Sing-Alongs: It's Not Easy Being Green Kermit the Frog Performer
1996-1998 Muppets Tonight Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Bean Bunny, Captain Pighead, Andy Pig, Mr. Poodlepants, additional characters Performer
1995 Muppets on Wheels Kermit the Frog Performer
1996 Elmo Saves Christmas Kermit the Frog Performer/puppeteer
1996 Muppets Inside Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Food Monster Voice only
1999 Muppets From Space Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Bean Bunny, Cosmic Fish, Beach hippie Performer/actor
1999 The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland Ernie, Bad Humor Man, Football Stenchman, Sharon Groan, Stuckweed Performer
2000 Muppet RaceMania Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Bean Bunny, Link Hogthrob, Doozer, Gil the Frog Performer/voice
2000 Muppet Monster Adventure Kermit the Frog/Ker-Monster, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat Performer/voice
2001 The Muppet Show Live Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Dr. Teeth (Assistant) Puppeteer
2002 Kermit's Swamp Years Kermit the Frog, Young Kermit, Chico, Jack Rabbit Performer
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler (puppetry only, except for one undubbed line), Mr. Poodlepants, Bean Bunny, one of the Elvises Performer/puppeteer
2003 Muppets Party Cruise Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Bean Bunny, Link Hogthrob, Andy Pig Performer/voice
2004-2006 Pizza Hut Kermit the Frog, Statler Puppeteer
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler Performer
2005-2006 Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony Statler (Ep. 1-8) Performer
2006 The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Statler Performer
2007 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Kermit the Frog Performer
2008 Disney Xtreme Digital Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler, The Newsman, Singing food, Bean Bunny, Turkey Performer
2008 Muppet viral videos Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler, Rabbits, Pumpkins, Penguins, Turkey Performer
2008 Studio DC: Almost Live Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler Performer
2008 A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler Performer
2009 Bohemian Rhapsody Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler, The Newsman, Chicken, Bunny, Penguin, Snowth, Turkey Performer
2010 The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Andy Pig, Foo-Foo, The Muppet Newsman Performer
2011 OK Go Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler, Sheep Performer
2011 Alamo Kermit the Frog Puppeteer
2011 The Muppets' Fan-A-Thon Kermit the Frog Voice only
2011 UL Kermit the Frog, Beaker Performer
2011 WWE Raw Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Statler Puppeteer
2011 The Muppets Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler, Link Hogthrob, The Muppet Newsman, Lips Performer
2012 WWE Tribute to the Troops Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat
2013 Good Luck Charlie Kermit the Frog (Episode 78) Puppeteer/Guest Star
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Newsman, Link Hogthrob, Lips, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler Performer

Television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ratting Out", Muppet Central, 1999. Accessed 24 November 2009.
  2. ^ Hennes, Joe (15 October 2008). "My Week with Steve: Day 4". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Voice Of Rizzo the Rat". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  4. ^ top-story (2009-01-01). "The Stories Behind 20 Muppet Favorites". Mental Floss. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Jim Henson
Performer of Kermit the Frog
1990 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Richard Hunt
Performer of Beaker
1992 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jim Henson
Performer of Ernie
1993 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jim Henson
Performer of Link Hogthrob
2000 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jerry Nelson
Performer of Statler
2002 - present
Succeeded by
None
Preceded by
Jim Henson
Performer of The Muppet Newsman
2008 - present
Succeeded by
None