Much has rightly been made of the late Jim Henson’s role in creating the Muppets, but his then-wife, Jane, was no less instrumental. Sadly, Jane Henson passed away from cancer yesterday at age 78.
When Jim was hired by an NBC affiliate in Washington D.C. to create a puppet show, he quickly brought his classmate at the University of Maryland, Jane, on as co-creator. Together, the two created and performed the puppet show Sam and Friends, which included an early version of what would become Kermit the Frog.
Although the Hensons legally separated in 1986, Jane Henson remained involved in the couple’s philanthropic work, including a stint on the board of directors of the Jim Henson foundation.
Her and her husband were both titans of pop culture, even if you didn’t see their faces or hear their names as much as you did their creations. She leaves behind four grown children, and countless others in spirit whose childhoods were in some ways shaped by the legacy of the Hensons – Kermit, Miss Piggy, and all their friends.