THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Jim Henson, the creative genius behind The Muppets and Sesame Street, has been commemorated with one of the famous blue plaques that English Heritage installs in London to mark important locations in the life of important residents of the city.
The plaque was unveiled September 7, 2021, in the run up to what would have been Henson's 85th birthday on September 24. It is placed on 50 Downshire Hill in Hampstead, North London, Henson’s home from 1979 onwards. The house lies opposite the former ‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop’, where the creatures of Henson’s many fantasy classics including The Dark Crystal, The Storyteller, Fraggle Rock and Labyrinth were created.
Brian Henson, Jim’s son and chairman of the board at The Jim Henson Company, said, “My father moved to London to make The Muppet Show, and then chose to stay because he was so impressed by the UK's many gifted artists and performers. It was with this amazing creative community that he produced ambitious projects including The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and so many more. It’s an honor to have Jim Henson’s British home recognized with a blue plaque, knowing that he so admired and respected the talent in London, and that this is the place he called home when creating some of his most memorable productions.”
Dr Rebecca Preston, Blue Plaques Historian at English Heritage, added, “Best remembered as the man behind beloved characters on The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, Henson produced and directed a wide range of television programmes and films, with many of his most successful filmed in the UK. A talented puppeteer, he was also skilled in storytelling, and had an innate ability to spot and nurture talent. His creations continue to influence popular culture globally. The immense body of work that he created and awards that he won are even more impressive considering his untimely death at the age of just 53, and we are delighted to recognise his connection to London with an English Heritage blue plaque.”