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RIP John Henson

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Dearth, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    I looked but didn't see any existing items about this. Mods, feel free to delete or move if necessary.

    I was on Facebook earlier and saw a post by Ibex Puppetry that John Henson had passed away yesterday. I did a Google search and found this article:


    "John Henson, son of the lateMuppetscreator Jim Henson, died Feb. 14 after experiencing a sudden heart attack in Saugerties, N.Y. He was 48.


    The Jim Henson Company announced Henson’s death on its official Facebook page today:
    “It is with great sadness that we confirm that John Henson, son of Jim and Jane Henson and brother to Lisa, Cheryl, Brian and Heather, died at age 48 of a sudden massive heart attack on Friday, February 14, while at home with his daughter. John served as a shareholder and board member of The Jim Henson Company. He leaves two daughters, Katrina (15) and Sydney (10) and his wife Gyongyi. A private service is being planned.”
    The youngest son of puppeteers Jim and Jane Henson, both deceased, John Henson was a shareholder and board member of The Jim Henson Company.
    Henson was also active in the creative side of the business. The puppeteer and craftsman was best known to Muppet fans for performing as Sweetums, the ferociously sweet, full-sized ogre. Henson lent his voice, body and heart to Sweetums from the 1980s through 2005’s “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz.” Henson also performs as Sweetums in “Muppet Treasure Island,” “It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie,” and several shorts and specials.
    As Muppet Wiki notes, Henson took over the body-suit puppetry of Sweetums from Richard Hunt in the late 1980s. Henson then started providing character’s voice in 1992 after Hunt passed away. (Sweetums is currently performed by Matt Vogel.)
    Henson’s performance as Sweetums can be seen in the film portion of Muppet*Vision 3D, a current attraction at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Henson’s physical performance complements the voice work of Hunt used for the attraction’s film."

    So sad for the family as they face another loss, especially so soon after Jane's passing.

  2. Muppetboy09

    Muppetboy09 Well-Known Member

    He was too young to pass. It wasn't his time. RIP, John. You will be greatly missed.
    beatnikchick300 likes this.
  3. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    Look at what I put on Facebook. To celebrate the unfortunate passing of Jim and Jane Henson's youngest son John, here's his only performance as Sweetums that's not on DVD: Sweetums appears at 2:53 and 6:18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVxwjlMBf6o
    beatnikchick300 likes this.
  4. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    This is a sad loss for Muppet fans everywhere, and it occurred on Valentine's Day....

    You will be missed, but not forgotten, and your spirit will live on in our memories.

    R.I.P. John Henson (4/25/1965 - 2/14/2014) :cry:

    I hope they can find time to insert a moment of tribute at the beginning or end of Muppets: Most Wanted....
    SweetPiggy likes this.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    I think there's already a thread for this in the Henson People section, the merger of which with this thread is at the administration's discretion.

    My own feelings having lost my father when I was fifteen as well is something that I will always recall for the rawness of emotions at that time. There's a certain moment of "Wha?" when reading that a heart attack being the cause of death on Valentine's Day. All I can say is that I hope John's remaining family can find that sunny day once again soon. :grr: :grr: :grr:
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  6. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    Apparently, he suffered the heart attack after building a snowman with his child. Just awful.
  7. ErnieBertGonzo

    ErnieBertGonzo Well-Known Member

    Man, only mid-February and 2014's already been a really bad year for deaths of our beloved entertainers. In addition to John, we've lost Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple, Sid Caesar, Ralph Waite, Russell Johnson and plenty of other notables.

    R.I.P. John. Yet another one-of-a-kind talent taken too soon.
    SweetPiggy likes this.
  8. MuppetGuy75

    MuppetGuy75 Well-Known Member

    I just discovered this while on Facebook. Horrible news to hear. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Henson family. RIP John
  9. Minstrel Mayhem

    Minstrel Mayhem New Member

    This really saddened me. I only finished Jim Henson's biography the other day, learning a lot about the Henson family. I really feel for his family.
    SweetPiggy likes this.
  10. MsMuppet

    MsMuppet Member

    Just heartbreaking. Saw the FB post yesterday. Bad enough that he passed at such a young age let alone to be home alone with his daughter. :(

    Sending lots of love to Henson family.
    SweetPiggy likes this.
  11. SweetPiggy

    SweetPiggy Active Member

    Way to young to go. He will be missed.

    RIP John Henson :grr:
  12. LouisTheOtter

    LouisTheOtter Well-Known Member

    I had no knowledge of his work as Sweetums. That's mind-blowing.

    This just gets more upsetting the more I read about it. I was already saddened when I first heard the news and reflected on the little I read about John in Jim Henson: The Biography, particularly the parts about how he was moved to tears when he saw TMM's "Rainbow Connection" opening sequence for the first time. It seemed that John was a very sensitive, loving person.

    Thank you for everything, John, and most importantly, for being a devoted husband and father to your children. Prayers going up for the whole family at this sad time.
    SweetPiggy likes this.
  13. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    From The Jim Henson Company's Facebook page:
    John Henson (March 25, 1965 – February 14, 2014)

    John Henson was born in Greenwich Connecticut to his parents, Jim and Jane Henson. At seven years old, he and his family moved to Bedford NY, where they lived through John’s childhood years.

    At sixteen, John, with his friend, John Kahn, bought an old school house in Saugerties, New York. Kahn then trained Henson in the arts of home building, furniture design, and sculpture. These disciplines would become John Henson’s life work.

    Throughout his adult life, John worked with his family’s business, The Jim Henson Company, as an accomplished puppeteer. He performed the character Sweetums from 1992 until 2003, and worked as a full-body performer inside of creatures such as the Coca Cola polar bear, among others. After Jim Henson’s death in 1990, John became a shareholder and active board member in the company, and stayed involved in The Jim Henson Company until his death.

    His main life passion always returned him to his projects in Saugerties, New York. He became a master in three-dimensional spatial design. His many homes and buildings in Saugerties reflect his unique design aesthetic and his extraordinary attention to detail. Each of his buildings is an art project, an immersive experience balancing function with artistic expression. His exterior, and fine interior work, utilizing a wide range of materials; from wood, to metal, to stone, created rooms of exquisite embracing craftsmanship. At the time of his death, John Henson had owned and extensively developed many properties in Saugerties, New York.

    In 1996, John met the love of his life, Gyongyi Katona, and in 1999 they gave birth to their first daughter, Katrina. Their second daughter, Sydney, was born in 2003. John was a loving, playful, and dedicated father, and was very involved in all aspects of his girls’ lives.

    John’s family commented, “John had the deepest soul of any man alive; sensitive, artistic, and extremely compassionate, there was no limit to his love.”

    A close friend of the family, Arthur Novell described John as, “a most remarkably kind and generous man who gave so much and asked for so little. He infused us with the light of his inquisitive mind, the spirit of his keen intellect and the genius of his talent to create. John will forever be remembered and cherished and talked about and somewhere in the Universe he will be rejoiced.”

    John Henson is survived by his wife Gyongyi Henson, and his two daughters, Katrina (15 years) and Sydney (10 years), as well as his siblings, Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, and Heather.
    SweetPiggy likes this.
  14. Wiseman

    Wiseman Well-Known Member

    I heard about John Henson's passing and I was saddened by it. I also wondered exactly what caused him to have a heart attack at the young age of 48 (I only just turned 46 myself), any information on that? I loved him as Sweetums. I hope Brian continues to live for a long time.

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