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Jim Henson, born James Maury Henson (September 24, 1936 â€“ May 16, 1990), was the most widely known American puppeteer in American television history. He was the creator of The Muppets and the leading force behind their long creative run in the television series Sesame Street and The Muppet Show and films such as The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Dark Crystal (1982). He was also an Oscar-nominated film director, Emmy Award-winning television producer, and the founder of The Jim Henson Company, the Jim Henson Foundation, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Henson is widely acknowledged for the ongoing vision of faith, friendship, magic, and love which infused nearly all of his work.