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Caroly Wilcox

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Wilcox performing on Sesame Street with Caroll Spinney and Frank Oz.

Carolywilcox

Wilcox working on Betsy Bird.

Caroly Wilcox began working in the New York Muppet Workshop in 1969, as work on Sesame Street began. Wilcox originally worked as an occasional puppeteer (assisting on Ernie and performing in such skits as "First and Last") as well as building and designing. According to Quilting with the Muppets, she also made occasional cameos as the school bus driver.

Wilcox became the workshop supervisor for the Sesame Muppets, and remained in that post until her retirement in 1990. Her 1979 design sketch for a red monster would eventually become a star character as Elmo.[1] As with the other designers, not all of her ideas reached fruition: she conceived and drew "Snuffy's Baby Brother," to be operated by one smaller person and "having only two legs when young (tadpole like). Mature is 4."[2]

She was also a key designer/builder for The Muppet Show and movies, notably directing the creation of a special Miss Piggy puppet for use in the underwater scenes in The Great Muppet Caper.[3] In many cases, her task involved the practical side, adding annotations to help translate character sketches by Jim Henson into physical puppets, noting how a performer should operate a character, and even coordinating the options for shooting the parachute drop in Great Muppet Caper. Wilcox was viewed as the expert Muppet maker; she trained many of the Muppet builders.

Puppeteer

Designer/Builder

Sources

  1. Falk, Karen. Imagination Illustrated. p. 180
  2. Falk, Karen. Imagination Illustrated. p. 115
  3. Jones, Brian Jay. Jim Henson: The Biography. p. 321
  4. Jim Henson's Red Book. Puppeteer assignments
  5. Falk, Karen. Imagination Illustrated. p. 88
  6. 11/8-11/1971 – ‘Go to Chicago to Silvestri. See flocking’. Jim Henson's Red Book. Nov. 8, 2012
  7. 6/21/1977 – ‘Judy Collins (MS)’. Jim Henson's Red Book. June 21, 2012.
  8. 9/11/1984 – ‘In Chicago for opening of The Muppet Show on Tour- LIVE.’. Jim Henson's Red Book. Sep. 11, 2013.

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