'Sesame Street' Puppeteer to Be Honored Wednesday January 18 4:17 PM ET Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who plays "Sesame Street" icons Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, will receive the lifetime achievement award at this year's Daytime Emmy Awards. Spinney was chosen for his work entertaining and educating children for nearly four decades, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Wednesday. "I am elated and amazed to receive this honor from those who are committed to the best of what television and media have to offer, for doing what I've always wanted to do," Spinney, a puppeteer since he was 8, said in a statement. Spinney has played the 8-foot-2 lemon-feathered Big Bird and garbage-can dweller Oscar the Grouch since the children's public television series debuted in 1969. He chronicled his experiences portraying the characters in "The Wisdom of Big Bird." The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will air April 28 from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC.