Debra, interviewed in I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Debra Spinney (often referred to as Debi) is a former staffer of the Children's Television Workshop, and the wife and manager of Muppeteer Caroll Spinney. She is credited as "For Big Bird," along with Kermit Love, in Big Bird in China.

She appeared in on-screen, together with Jon Stone and Kermit Love, in episode 750 of Sesamstrasse in 1981, as revealed in a comic strip by Caroll.

She has also made cameos in the crowd scene toward the ending of Follow That Bird, the "Sing" finale of Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting, and the luau scene in Episode 1095.[1] Also on screen, she played Big Bird's legs in a scene filmed in Puerto Rico where Caroll was playing Oscar,[2] while below the frame, she puppeteered Simon Soundman during the "Carol Sing" in A Muppet Family Christmas.[3]


  • Episode 3609 of Sesame Street references Caroll's proposal to Debi. Oscar, planning on proposing to Grundgetta as a gag, recites Caroll's proposal verbatim ("You will marry me, won't you?") as he practices.


  1. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story audio commentary at 24:15
  2. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story audio commentary at 29:27
  3. Home video footage recorded by the Spinneys, later incorporated in "Jim Henson: Behind the Seams" screening at the Museum of the Moving Image