Obituaries

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.

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.’’

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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.’’

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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.