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A Brief Biography on Frank Oz from Hollywood.com

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Super Scooter, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Frank Oz

    Biography

    Emmy-winner Frank Oz originally found fame for giving voice and life to such widely-loved synthetic creations as Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Yoda. He has since gained recognition as a multi-talented director of comedies and children's fare. A longtime associate of Muppet creator Jim Henson, Oz's professional career took off on the celebrated children's educational series, "Sesame Street" (PBS, 1969- ), where he operated and aurally embodied such kiddie icons as Grover and The Cookie Monster. While holding on to his day job, Oz followed Henson to evening TV for "The Muppet Show" (syndicated, 1976-81). Whereas "Sesame Street" targeted youngsters and stressed multiculturalism, the ABCs and 1-2-3s, "The Muppet Show" courted older kids and adults by providing visual gags for the tots and verbal jabs and awful puns for the elders. Henson once credited Oz for "much of what's funny about the Muppets," but the best comedy emerged from the interplay between the exuberant Oz and the more subdued Henson.

    Oz broke into features with "The Muppet Movie" (1979) which presented an excellent showcase for his prodigious skills as a puppeteer and voice artist. This paved the way for his vocal star turn as Yoda, the beloved 300-year-old midget mystic of "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), "Return of the Jedi" (1983) and the untitled "Star Wars" prequel (scheduled for release in 1999). Despite success outside his collaboration with Henson, Oz remained loyal to the Muppets, staying involved both in front and behind the camera on their subsequent projects, although he could always find time for an acting cameo in the films of his director friend John Landis. Beginning with his role as a corrections officer in "The Blues Brothers" (1980), he appeared in "An American Werewolf in London" (1981), "Trading Places" (1983), "Spies Like Us" (1985), "Innocent Blood" (1992) and "Blues Brothers 2000" (1998).

    Oz made his feature directorial debut co-directing with his mentor Henson "The Dark Crystal" (1982), an uneven fantasy adventure starring unfamiliar Muppets of a larger and less cute variety, then helmed solo "The Muppets Take Manhattan" (1984), which he also co-wrote (and in which Landis provided a cameo). With the musical remake "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986), adapted from the Off-Broadway hit, Oz proved himself an able director of live action with an assured sense of comedic timing. This also marked his first collaboration with comic actor Steve Martin; their subsequent projects would include "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", a 1988 remake of the 1964 Marlon Brando/David Niven comedy "Bedtime Story", and "Housesitter" (1992), a light comedy with Goldie Hawn.

    Oz returned to kids' stuff as director of the engagingly old-fashioned "The Indian in the Cupboard" (1995). Adapted from an acclaimed best-selling children's novel by Melissa Mathison, the sensitively rendered film told the story of a boy who learns a series of life lessons after discovering that an old cupboard can bring his toys to life. Following Henson's death in 1990, Oz had debuted as executive producer on "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992), directed by Henson's son Brian, and served in the same capacity for Brian Henson's "Muppet Treasure Island" (1996), providing his trademark voices of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Sam Eagle for both. He then directed the highly-successful "coming out" comedy hit "In & Out" (1997), starring Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck.

    ****

    The story comes from http://www.hollywood.com/celebs/bio/celeb/1674145
  2. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Active Member

    looks like a nicely written artice.....nice, straightforward, and very informative, nice find SS
  3. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    *bows*

    Thank you.

    (IM me?)


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