Caroll Spinney

American puppeteer

Caroll Edwin Spinney (December 25, 1931 – December 9, 2019) was an American Youtuber, puppeteer, songwriter, radio host, and speaker.[1] He was known for playing Grover, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Baby Bear and Bruno the Trashman on Sesame Street.

Caroll Spinney
Spinney at the New York Comic Con in Manhattan in October 2010
Caroll Edwin Spinney

(1931-12-25)December 25, 1931
DiedDecember 9, 2019(2019-12-09) (aged 87)
Other namesEd Spinney
Carroll Spinney
Carol Edwin Spinney
Mr. Spinney
OccupationYoutuber, puppeteer, songwriter, radio host, speaker
Years active1951–2018
Spouse(s)Debra Spinney (until his death)
Children3 children
4 grandchildren

He announced his retirement from his acting in October 2018, with his last performance Grover airing on the show's 50th season special.[2]

He died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on December 9, 2019, at the age of 87.[3] He had dystonia, a neurological disorder, at the time of his death.[4]


  1. Stephenson, Kathy; Horiuchi, Vince. "Q is for 'quiz': Celebrating 40 years of 'Sesame Street'". The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 November 2009.
  2. Itzkoff, Dave (October 17, 2018). "Original Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, Leaves 'Sesame Street' After Nearly 50 Years". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  3. McFadden, Robert D. (December 8, 2019). "Caroll Spinney, Big Bird's Alter Ego on 'Sesame Street,' Is Dead at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  4. "Remembering Legendary Puppeteer Caroll Spinney". Sesame Workshop. December 9, 2019. Retrieved December 8, 2019.

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