We have another installment of Weekly Muppeteer Wednesdays on The Muppet Mindset today, once again written by Tom Stroud. As always, if you would like to contribute to either Weekly Muppet Wednesdays or Weekly Muppeteer Wednesdays, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
May 25, 1944
Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster, Sam the Eagle, Marvin Suggs
Born Richard Frank Oznowicz into a family of British puppeteers, by age 12 Frank Oz was performing with the Oznowicz Family Marionettes troupe with the rest of his family.
Frank also played a major role in The Muppet Show, performing many popular characters, including Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam the Eagle. He also preformed the hands of The Swedish Chef, often doing unrehearsed and unexpected things with the hands without telling Jim Henson, who preformed the rest of the Muppet.
Beginning in the mid-1990's, he began to distance himself from Muppet productions. He still occasionally performs his Sesame Street characters, but after Muppets from Space, his main Muppet characters were recast to Eric Jacobson. He explained in interviews that this is because of many reasons, such as his kids and the fact that he never really wanted to be a puppeteer, but rather a journalist or director. He continues to direct, and in recent years has directed films such as The Stepford Wives and 2007's original Death at a Funeral.
Special thanks to Tom Stroud for the article and to Frank Oz for... well, what's not to thank for (well, besides The Stepford Wives).
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier