Jim Henson: the biography

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE

For the first time ever—a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson

 
He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.
 
This extraordinary biography—written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family—covers the full arc of Henson’s all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi, through the years of burgeoning fame in America, to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives, Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson’s contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson’s non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth—as well as fascinating misfires like Henson’s dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub.
 
An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as “the new Walt Disney,” and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson’s intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing, his love of fast cars and expensive art, and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded.
 
An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.
  
Praise for Jim Henson
 
Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods: It’s an absolute must-read!”—Neil Patrick Harris
 
“An exhaustive work that is never exhausting, a credit both to Jones’s brisk style and to Henson’s exceptional life.”The New York Times
 
“[A] sweeping portrait that is a mix of humor, mirth and poignancy.”—Washington Independent Review of Books

“A meticulously researched tome chock-full of gems about the Muppets and the most thorough portrait of their creator ever crafted.”—Associated Press

“Jim was one of my closest friends. And yet I found out things about him in Jim Henson that were new to me. Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim’s genius and humanity, as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect. I thank Brian for giving Jim life again. This book has captured the spirit of Jim Henson.”—Frank Oz


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ISBN:
9780345526137
9780804128674
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Grouped Work IDead68d5a-ecde-4fd2-4e69-a81f19f93f3e
Grouping Titlejim henson
Grouping Authorbrian jay jones
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-10-20 04:40:39AM
Last Indexed2021-10-20 05:04:19AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9780804128667

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display_description"For the first time ever--a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century's most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson. He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters he created: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story. This extraordinary biography--written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family--covers the full arc of Henson's all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi; through the years of burgeoning fame in Washington D.C., New York, and London; to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives (including never-before-seen interviews, business documents, and Henson's private letters), Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson's contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson's non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth--as well as fascinating misfires like Henson's dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub or staging an elaborate all-puppet Broadway show. An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as "the new Walt Disney," and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson's intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing; his love of fast cars, high-stakes gambling, and expensive art; and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life--a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded. An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture--and continues to beguile audiences worldwide. Advance praise for Jim Henson "I'm a rabid Jim Henson fan--his brilliant ideas spawned shows that entertained and educated millions, myself included. Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods. It's an absolute must read!"--Neil Patrick Harris "Every Muppet fan has wondered who was behind the wide-mouthed, bug-eyed, furry creatures. Before now all we had was a credit line: Jim Henson. Now, with Brian Jay Jones's riveting Jim Henson, we have a nuanced portrait of the puppeteer--part genius inspired by his Mississippi Delta roots and his Christian Science faith, part flawed human with tastes too rich in everything from his art and cars to his women--that brings new understanding of and empathy for an icon of American popular culture."--Larry Tye, author of Satchel and Superman"-- A comprehensive biography of the life and accomplishments of the famous puppeteer and creator of the Muppets. A comprehensive portrait of the iconic cultural figure includes coverage of his Mississippi childhood and college forays into early Muppet TV projects to his years with "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show" and his considerable achievements in non-Muppet productions.
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subject_facetBIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY -- Entertainment & Performing Arts
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography
Electronic books
Entertainment
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Henson, Jim
Muppet show (Television program)
PERFORMING ARTS -- Reference
Popular Culture
Puppeteers
Puppeteers -- United States -- Biography
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
Sesame Street (Television program)
Television producers and directors
Television producers and directors -- United States -- Biography
United States
title_displayJim Henson The Biography
title_fullJim Henson : the biography / Brian Jay Jones
Jim Henson The Biography
title_shortJim Henson
title_subthe biography
topic_facetBIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography
Entertainment
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Henson, Jim
Nonfiction
PERFORMING ARTS
Performing Arts
Popular Culture
Puppeteers
Reference
SOCIAL SCIENCE
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
Sociology
Television producers and directors