Big Bird Caroll Spinney
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Original Big Bird & Oscar the Grouch Puppeteer Retiring from ‘Sesame Street’

Caroll Spinney, one of the original puppeteers who created “Sesame Street” along with Jim Henson, is officially retiring.

84-year-old Spinney said Thursday will be his last time shooting the iconic children’s show, where he has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.

He says the roles “Have given me great joy, led me to my true calling and created a lifetime of memories that I will cherish forever.” Spinney actually stopped wearing the Big Bird suit a few years back, after he began to have problems with his balance. He continued to provide the voices for both characters.

“Sesame Street” has already chosen new puppeteers to take over Spinney’s roles. Matt Vogel, who also plays Kermit the Frog, will take over as Big Bird. Eric Jacobson will be the new Oscar the Grouch.