Brian Henson

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Brian Henson
Born (1963-11-03) November 3, 1963 (age 52)
New York City
Occupation Puppeteer, director, producer and technician
Parent(s) Jim Henson (1936–1990)
Jane Henson (1934–2013)
Relatives Lisa Henson (born 1960)
Cheryl Henson (born 1961)
John Henson (1965–2014)
Heather Henson (born 1970)

Brian Henson (born November 3, 1963) is an American puppeteer, director, producer, and the chairman of The Jim Henson Company.[1] The son of puppeteers Jim and Jane Henson, Brian was born in New York City.

Early life[edit]

Brian Henson was the middle child and first born son of Jane Henson and Jim Henson. As a child, he made several cameo appearances in some of the filmed segments his father produced for the PBS children's series Sesame Street, most notably in various segments of the "Number Song Series." As he got older, he built the very first Muppet penguin puppet for the opening "Lullaby of Broadway" segment of a season three episode of The Muppet Show, guest starring Gilda Radner. During his summer break from high school in 1980, he assisted in the bicycle sequence from The Great Muppet Caper (1981). He helped create and operate a special rigging device that was created to allow the Muppets to ride bicycles, since he was skilled in the use of marionette puppets. A few years later, he similarly operated a marionette of Scooter riding a bicycle in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984).



During the 1980s, Henson wanted to make a name for himself and find work without his father's help. As a result, he performed Jack Pumpkinhead in Return to Oz (1985), operated special effects for Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), and was a principal performer for the Audrey II puppet in Little Shop of Horrors (1986), controlling mouth movement while others performed the lips and vines. In addition, he also performed the voice of Hoggle, one of the main characters in his father's film Labyrinth (1986), and the Dog in both versions of The Storyteller (1988 and 1990).


He briefly took over the Muppet roles of Scooter and Janice after the death of Richard Hunt in 1992.

He directed The Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992 and Muppet Treasure Island in 1996, the first Muppet films produced after Jim Henson's death.

He performed the role of Dr. Phil van Neuter, the Muppet mad scientist who tries to suck out Gonzo's brain, in Muppets from Space (1999).

He was the producer of the TV series Dinosaurs, Aliens in the Family, and Bear in the Big Blue House. His most visible recent project was the cult sci-fi series Farscape.


Henson is the co-creator, producer, and currently a performer in the Off-Broadway puppet-based variety show geared toward adults called Stuffed and Unstrung.[2] He also plays various characters on That Puppet Game Show.

Henson for the live show, "The Muppet Show Live", from 2001, in addition to performing his own Muppet characters, also performed one of his father's characters, The Muppet Newsman, for the first time, the second time being the 2003 video game "Muppets Party Cruise".


Henson is the executive producer and plays himself as the head judge for the reality TV show Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge where contestants compete for $100,000 and a job working at Jim Henson's Creature Shop.


Year Title Role Notes
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Muppet performer Also made a cameo appearance
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan Muppet performer Uncredited
1985 Return to Oz Jack Pumpkinhead
1985 Santa Claus: The Movie Animatronic puppeteer
1986 Little Shop of Horrors Principal puppeteer
1986 Labyrinth Hoggle/Goblin
1986 The Christmas Toy Cruiser TV movie
1987 Jim Henson Presents Mother Goose Stories Co-director
1988-1991 The Storyteller Storyteller's Dog/Devil/Griffin TV series
1989 The Jim Henson Hour Storyteller's Dog/Dog the Dinosaur TV series
1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Second unit director/Chief puppeteer
1990 The Witches Puppeteer
1991-1994 Dinosaurs Grandma Ethyl Phillips/Arthur Rizzic
Executive producer
TV series
1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol Director/Producer Film
1996 Aliens in the Family Executive producer TV series
1996 Gulliver's Travels Co-executive producer TV miniseries
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Director/Producer Film
1996-1998 Muppets Tonight Sal Minella/Dr. Phil Van Neuter/Seymour/Nigel
TV series
1997-2003 Bear in the Big Blue House Executive producer TV series
1999 Muppets From Space Dr. Phil Van Neuter/Sal Minella/Talking Sandwich
1999-2003 Farscape Executive producer TV series
2000 The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland Executive producer Film
2001 Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story Director TV movie
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Scooter/Sal Manilla/Janice
Executive producer
TV movie
2004 Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars Director/Executive producer TV series
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Sal Manilla
Executive producer
TV movie
2008 Pajanimals Executive producer TV series
2008-2009 Sid the Science Kid Executive producer TV series
2009-2011 Dinosaur Train Executive producer TV series
2010 Hot Dog TV Voice
TV series
2013 Ventrilocompany Studios Update Co-executive producer TV series
2013 That Puppet Game Show Various TV series
2014 Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge Executive producer and Head Judge TV series

Future projects[edit]

Henson is co-producing The Power of the Dark Crystal and Fraggle Rock: The Movie. However, both projects are currently on hold.

Preceded by
Adam Hunt
Performer of Scooter
2002 - 2003
Succeeded by
Rickey Boyd
Preceded by
Richard Hunt
Performer of Janice
2002 - 2003
Succeeded by
Tyler Bunch


  1. ^ "Profile at Jim Henson Company". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Home - Puppet Up!". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 

External links[edit]