Caroll Spinney

(Big Bird)

Caroll Spinney has been the heart and soul of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since Sesame Street’s premiere in 1969 and he loves working on “the Street.” Big Bird hit the road to China with Bob Hope in 1979, and has since danced with the Rockettes and prima ballerina Cynthia Gregory. Sesame Street specials have taken Spinney to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has performed on various television shows, including 146 episodes of Hollywood Squares. Spinney also conducted symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada. En route, Big Bird has been feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and celebrated with his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp; as Big Bird, Spinney was named a “Living Legend” in 2000 by the Library of Congress. Spinney enjoys being a lecturer and has earned four honorary doctorates. He is also an accomplished author and artist, and co-authored and illustrated his autobiography, The Wisdom of Big Bird. Spinney starred in the much-loved feature film, Follow That Bird, and takes great pride in his 2006 Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award, his five Emmys, two Gold Records and two Grammy honors. He is the 2003 recipient of the “Legacy for Children Award,” and The Christopher’s James Keller Award in 2004. His life and career have been documented in the 2014 film, I Am Big Bird, which has been widely acclaimed not only in the United States, but all around the globe.

Spinney and his wife, Debra, whom he met when she worked at the Children’s Television Workshop back in 1973, have been together for more than forty-four years. They love to work together and travel together and, when not doing so, they find great joy in their family and in their home.