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Puppeteer for Sesame Street’s Count, Jerry Nelson Dies

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Jerry Nelson, an American puppeteer who played Count von Count onSesame Street and Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock, has died. He was 78.

A tribute site for Jim Henson’s The Muppets confirmed Nelson died Thursday, but no cause of death was given.

Nelson’s most famous puppet character was the Count, the Sesame Street citizen who teaches children how to count. As well, he gave life to Mr. Snuffleupagus and Grover’s customer Mr. Johnson.

Nelson also played Gobo Fraggle, the leader of the colourful band of creatures featured on the live-action TV series Fraggle Rock, which ran 1983 to 1987. CBC was one of the international co-producers of the hit children’s series, which was a music-filled romp that dealt with issues such as prejudice, spirituality and personal identity. Nelson also operated other puppets on Fraggle Rock.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Washington, D.C., Nelson first began working with American puppeteer Bil Baird, who created the marionette sequence for The Sound of Music.

He worked with Jim Henson on The Jimmy Dean Show in 1965, temporarily replacing Frank Oz, and worked with The Muppets off and on throughout the 1960s. READ MORE

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