Jim Henson’s Legacy


Jim Henson didn’t set out to change the world. He didn’t set out to touch the lives of children more than any other entertainer in his lifetime.

And he didn’t set out to revive the art of puppetry. But he sure did!

All that would be enough to make him historically significant years after his death. But he is also still beloved, revered and terribly missed.

Jim Henson’s untimely departure from this world left a huge hole in our hearts that has yet to be filled. It’s because his work also had a soul. His characters, creations, TV shows and films all had common elements of … decency! There was an undercurrent of optimism, of empathy and encouragement that permeated nearly every project he worked on.

Thanks to Sesame Street, he had a profound influence on children, yet he was also able to entertain and inspire adults. Nearly 20 years after his passing, not only are we still talking about him, and still visiting a touring exhibit in his honor, but we also still miss him.

“Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” was created by the Smithsonian Institution and the Jim Henson Legacy. It includes a treasure trove of sketches, storyboards, characters and films that lend insight into his process of creation.

We toured the exhibit at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, FL. It’s a very special museum that is proud to house the tribute.

It also happens to be the hometown of Jim’s daughter, Heather Henson. An acclaimed puppeteer in her own right, Heather is thoughtful, honest and inspirational. She tends to avoid the spotlight, but out of respect for her father, agreed to join Growing Bolder’s Bill Shafer for a frank, open and insightful conversation. 

She shares her unique perspective of her father’s life, his works and his untimely passing.

Learn more at the Orange County Regional History Center Web site.

For all things Jim Henson, and to see if and when the exhibit is headed for a town near you, visit the Jim Henson Legacy Web site.

Click here to learn more about Heather Henson.

For more fascinating stories on incredible and memorable people, check out the GB Unforgettable Characters Channel.