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The Man Behind Miss Piggy09:51
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Frank Oz became a major creative force behind the Muppets in 1963. Jim Henson once described him as "probably the person most responsible for the Muppets being funny." (Lucy Nicholson`/AP)
Frank Oz became a major creative force behind the Muppets in 1963. Jim Henson once described him as "probably the person most responsible for the Muppets being funny." (Lucy Nicholson`/AP)

Film director Frank Oz is best known as the creator and voice behind Miss Piggy and the voice of Cookie Monster, Fozzie Bear and Bert. He was discovered by Jim Henson in 1963 while he was still a high school student and he went on to become a major creative force behind the Muppets, directing many of the Sesame Workshop films including The Muppets Take Manhattan.

Oz has performed as a puppeteer in dozens of movies, videos and television specials, as well as hundreds of episodes of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. In addition to his work on Sesame Street, Oz is also known for his voice and puppet work as Yoda, the Jedi sage in the Star Wars series. He also directed Little Shop of Horrors, The Score and Death at a Funeral.

This interview was originally broadcast on Dec. 20, 1988.

Copyright NPR 2022.

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