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John Henson, 48; puppeteer who followed father’s path

John Henson with Muppets Miss Piggy and Kermit at the Disney/MGM studios in Florida.

AP/File 1990

John Henson with Muppets Miss Piggy and Kermit at the Disney/MGM studios in Florida.

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — Puppeteer John Henson, the son of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, died Friday in New York. He was 48.

Cheryl Henson said her brother died of a ‘‘massive heart attack’’ at his home in Saugerties on Friday. She said it happened after he had been building an igloo in the snow with his daughter.

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Mr. Henson followed in his famous father’s footsteps as a puppeteer, performing as Sweetums the ogre in several films, including ‘‘Muppet Treasure Island’’ and ‘‘It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.’’

Cheryl Henson said her brother also made appearances in the original Coca-Cola Polar Bear suit. She described him as an ‘‘artist who also loved working the land.’’

Mr. Henson was a shareholder and board member of the Jim Henson Company.

He leaves his wife, Gyongyi, and two daughters, ages 10 and 15. A private funeral service is planned.

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