Mike Quinn (puppeteer)

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Mike Quinn (born 1964) is an English actor, animator, and puppeteer. He is also known as Mike Quinby, Michael E. Quinn, and Michael Quinn.

Early life and career[edit]

Quinn, who hails from London, began puppeteering at age eight, with a magic act for his family.

In 1977, Quinn regularly visited the set of The Muppet Show with his homemade puppets, eventually meeting Jim Henson. Through his visits, he learned more about puppeteering and received encouragement from Jim Henson and his co-workers.

After leaving school in 1980, Quinn joined The Jim Henson Company and worked on the 1981 film The Great Muppet Caper puppeteering in crowd scenes and acting as a double for various main Muppet characters. Quinn later designed and built the Podlings for The Dark Crystal, where he also performed the Skeksis Slave Master SkekNa (who was voiced by David Buck).

During the filming of Return of the Jedi, Quinn (and Kathryn Mullen) were assistant puppeteers to Frank Oz in his performance of Yoda . He also performed the role of Nien Nunb in Return Of the Jedi. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, Quinn joined forces with fellow puppeter David Barclay, creating Ultimate Animates, a production company specializing in new building and performing techniques for internal and external puppet productions.

Quinn was present at Jim Henson's memorial and joined other puppeteers in a performance of "Just One Person", operating one of the Penguins from The Muppet Show.

Quinn joined George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic as an animator, first working on Jurassic Park III and then Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

He reprised his role as Nien Nunb in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,[1] a role that he reprised again in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.[2]

Personal life[edit]

From 1987 to 2004, Mike Quinn was engaged to fellow puppeteer Karen Prell. From 2005 to present, married to Jerri Quinn. He is also a relative of Mia Farrow since Mike's grandmother was the first cousin of Mia Farrow's mother Maureen O'Sullivan.



Year Title Role Notes
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Additional Muppets
1982 The Dark Crystal SkekNa Performer
1983 Return of the Jedi Nien Nunb and various roles Yoda (assistant performer)
1986 Labyrinth Goblins puppeteer
The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Bulbous, Mayor Bunnyparte Voice
1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol Undertaker Voice, Performer of Miss Piggy and Fonzie Bear
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Additional Muppets
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Additional Muppets Credited as Michael Quinn
2011 The Muppets Additional Muppets
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Additional Muppets
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Nien Nunb
2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi [3]


Year Title Role Notes
1983–87 Fraggle Rock Gobo Fraggle and various
1987 Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories Brown Gosling Credited as Mike Quinby
1988 The Storyteller Devil Episode: "The Soldier and Death" puppeteer
1989 The Ghost of Faffner Hall Riff 13 episodes
1994 The Secret Life of Toys Various
1994 Jim Henson's Animal Show Chuck The Lion 4 episodes
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Muppet Performer
2013 Shake It Up Parrot Episode: "Ty It Up"
2013 Good Luck Charlie Additional Muppet Performer Episode: "Duncan Dream House"
2013 Glee Puppeteer Episode: "Puppet Master"
2015-16 The Muppets Additional Muppet Performer 12 episodes
2018 Kidding Secret Chef and Puppeteer 4 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2017 The Muppets Take the Bowl Additional Muppet Performer Live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Sept. 8–10



  1. ^ Jason Ward (25 October 2015). "Star Wars Legend Mike Quinn returns as Nien Nunb in Star Wars: The Force Awakens!". makingstarwars.net. Making Star Wars. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. ^ B. Alan Orange (5 February 2016). "Nien Nunb Will Return in 'Star Wars 8'". movieweb.com. MovieWeb. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. ^ Alan Orange (5 February 2016). "Nien Nunb Will Return in 'Star Wars 8'". movieweb.com. MovieWeb. Retrieved 12 February 2016.

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