In 1976, after scrapping plans for a Broadway show, he produced The Muppet Show.
He won fame for his creations, particularly Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, and Ernie, and was involved with Sesame Street for over 20 years.
Henson would remain at WRC for seven years, from 1954 to 1961.
In the show, he began experimenting with techniques that would change the way puppetry had been used on television, including using the frame defined by the camera shot to allow the puppet performer to work from off-camera.
Henson remained a Christian Scientist at least into his twenties when he would teach Sunday School, but in 1975, Henson wrote to a Christian Science church to inform them he was no longer a practicing member.
In 1954, while attending Northwestern High School, he began working for WTOP-TV (now WUSA-TV), creating puppets for a Saturday morning children's show called The Junior Morning Show.
As a freshman, he had been asked to create Sam and Friends, a five-minute puppet show for WRC-TV.
The characters on Sam and Friends were forerunners of Muppets, and the show included a prototype of Henson's most famous character: Kermit the Frog.
Henson died of toxic shock syndrome on May 16, 1990, at age 53, twenty hours after experiencing a medical emergency—an unexpected event that was widely lamented in the film and television industries.
Born in Greenville, Mississippi on September 24, 1936, James Maury Henson was the younger of two children of Paul Ransom Henson (1904–1994), an agronomist for the U. Department of Agriculture, and his wife, Betty Marcella (née Brown; 1904–1972).
Henson and Oz developed a close friendship and a performing partnership that lasted 27 years; their teamwork is particularly evident in their portrayals of the characters of Bert and Ernie, Kermit and Miss Piggy, and Kermit and Fozzie Bear.
Henson's 1960s talk show appearances culminated when he devised Rowlf, a piano-playing anthropomorphic dog.
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