|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (April 2010)|
|Born||Steven Lawrence Whitmire
September 24, 1959
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Melissa Whitmire (m. 1978)|
Steven Lawrence "Steve" Whitmire (born September 24, 1959) is an American puppeteer, best known for being the performer of Kermit the Frog and Ernie—roles he inherited after Jim Henson's death in 1990. Whitmire has been with the Muppets since 1978, performing a variety of characters on The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock series and during such occupations has worked for the Jim Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, and Disney's The Muppets Studio.
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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 with 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 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, Labyrinth, and Dinosaurs.
Whitmire has been the performer of two signature Muppets—Kermit the Frog and Ernie—since the death of their creator and original performer Jim Henson in 1990. Whitmire was personally asked by Brian Henson to be Kermit's performer a few weeks after Jim Henson's death. Henson sent Whitmire a Kermit puppet to his residence, however, Whitmire hid the puppet away for weeks before deciding on taking on the role. In 2014, Billy Barkhurst took over the role of Ernie (since Season 45). Whitmire left the role so he could continue focusing on other projects by the The Muppets Studio.
Muppet characters original to Whitmire include Rizzo the Rat, 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 retirement of Jerry Nelson, Whitmire took over the roles of Beaker and Statler. He voiced Link Hogthrob in the Muppet RaceMania and Muppet Party Cruise video games. He also performed Hogthrob for the 2011 film, The Muppets. This was the first speaking appearance of the puppet 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." Since 2008, Whitmire has also been the new performer of another of Jim Henson's roles, The Muppet Newsman.
|1979||The Muppet Movie||Assistant for "Rainbow Connection" sequence, additional characters||Performer|
|1981||The Great Muppet Caper||Rizzo the Rat, Lips||Performer|
|1982||The Dark Crystal||skekTek the Scientist||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||Labyrinth||The Four Guards (puppetry only), Firey 4 (puppetry only), Ambrosius (puppetry only)||Puppeteer|
|1992||The Muppet Christmas Carol||Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Sprocket, Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Belinda Cratchet, additional characters||Performer|
|1996||Muppet Treasure Island||Rizzo the Rat, Kermit the Frog, Beaker, The Dodo, Walleye Pike, Jacques Roach, Inkspots, Rats||Performer|
|1999||Muppets from Space||Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Bean Bunny, Cosmic Fish, Beach hippie, Alien Gonzo||Performer/actor|
|1999||The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland||Ernie, Bad Humor Man, Football Stenchman, Sharon Groan, Stuckweed, Parrot||Performer|
|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), Mr. Poodlepants, Bean Bunny||Performer/puppeteer|
|2005||The Muppets' Wizard of Oz||Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler||Performer|
|2007||Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium||Kermit the Frog||Performer|
|2011||The Muppets||Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler, Link Hogthrob, The Muppet Newsman, Lips||Performer|
|2014||Muppets Most Wanted||Kermit the Frog, Foo-Foo, Statler, Beaker, Lips, Rizzo the Rat, Link Hogthrob, The Muppet Newsman, Andy Pig||Performer|
|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|
|1982||The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show||Rizzo the Rat, back-up singer, additional characters||Performer/actor|
|1983–1987||Fraggle Rock||Wembley Fraggle, Sprocket, Marlon Fraggle, Flange Doozer, Murray the Minstrel, additional characters||Performer|
|1983||Rocky Mountain Holiday||Rizzo the Rat, additional characters Wembley Fraggle||Performer|
|1986||The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years||Rizzo the Rat, additional characters||Performer|
|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|
|1991–1994||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–?||Muppet Meeting Films||Flunky, Mr. Briteweight, Kermit the Frog||Performer|
|1993||Sesame Street Stays Up Late!||Ernie||Performer|
|1993–2014||Sesame Street||Ernie (1993–2014), Kermit the Frog and Additional characters||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|
|1999||CinderElmo||Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Prince the Dog||Performer|
|1998||Elmopalooza||Kermit the Frog, Ernie||Performer|
|1996–1998||Muppets Tonight||Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Bean Bunny, Captain Pighead, Andy Pig, Mr. Poodlepants, additional characters||Performer|
|1996||Elmo Saves Christmas||Kermit the Frog||Performer/puppeteer|
|2007–2008||Johnny and the Sprites||Statler||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|
|2011||WWE Raw||Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Statler||Puppeteer|
|2012||WWE Tribute to the Troops||Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat||Puppeteer|
|2013||Good Luck Charlie||Kermit the Frog (Episode 78)||Puppeteer/Guest Star|
|2013||Lady Gaga and the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular||Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler||Performer|
|2015||Muppet Moments||Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler, Sheep||Performer|
|2015–2016||The Muppets||Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler, Lips, The Muppet Newsman||Performer|
|1991–present||Muppet*Vision 3D||Waldo C. Graphic, Bean Bunny, Rizzo the Rat||Performer, voice|
|2005–2006||Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony||Statler (Ep. 1-8)||Performer|
|2008–2009||Muppet YouTube Shorts||Kermit the Frog, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, Statler, Rabbits, Pumpkins, Penguins, Turkey||Performer|
|2010||The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora||Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Andy Pig, Foo-Foo, The Muppet Newsman||Performer|
|2013–2014||Muppisodes||Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler||Performer|
|2014||Disney Drive-On with The Muppets||Kermit the Frog||Performer|
|2016–present||The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History||Kermit the Frog||Voice|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steve Whitmire.|
- "Ratting Out", Muppet Central, 1999. Accessed 24 November 2009.
- Hennes, Joe (15 October 2008). "My Week with Steve: Day 4". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Lloyd, Robert (May 16, 2015). "If Harry Shearer leaves 'The Simpsons,' what will happen? Just ask Bugs Bunny". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "'The Muppets' Return to TV; Miss Piggy Swans, Kermit Suffers". The Associated Press. The New York Times. September 22, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- Irwin, Jon (September 2015). "On the Other Hand". Longreads. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- "Voice Of Rizzo the Rat". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- top-story (2009-01-01). "The Stories Behind 20 Muppet Favorites". Mental Floss. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- Hennes, Joe (15 October 2008). "My Week with Steve: Day 4". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Graser, Marc (6 December 2013). "Watch: The Muppets Star in New Series of 'Muppisodes'". Variety. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Graser, Marc (August 1, 2014). "Disney Launches The Muppets Digital Series". Variety. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
|Performer of Kermit the Frog
1990 – present
|Performer of Beaker
1992 – present
|Performer of Ernie
1993 – 2014
|Performer of Link Hogthrob
2000 – present
|Performer of Statler
2002 – present
|Performer of The Muppet Newsman
2008 – present