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Frank Oz

Frank Oz
Frank Oz 2012.jpg
Oz at the 38th Annual Saturn Awards 2012
Born Frank Richard Oznowicz
(1944-05-25) May 25, 1944 (age 72)
Hereford, England
Nationality American
Education Oakland Technical High School
Alma mater Oakland City College
Occupation Puppeteer, filmmaker, actor
Years active 1960–present
Spouse(s) Robin Garsen (m. 1979; div. 1994)
Victoria Labalme (m. 2011)
Children 3

Frank Oz (born Frank Richard Oznowicz; born May 25, 1944) is an English-born American puppeteer, filmmaker and actor. His career began as a puppeteer, where he performed the Muppet characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle in The Muppet Show, and Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in Sesame Street. He is also known for being the puppeteer and voice of Yoda in the Star Wars films.

His work as a director includes Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), What About Bob? (1991), In & Out (1997), Bowfinger (1999), The Score (2001) and Death at a Funeral (2007).

Oz was born in Hereford, England, the son of Frances (née Ghevaert) (1910-1989) and Isidore Oznowicz (1916-1998), both of whom were puppeteers. His father was also a window trimmer. His parents moved to England after fighting the Nazis with the Dutch Brigades. Oz's Dutch/Polish father was Jewish and his Flemish mother was a lapsed Roman Catholic. Oz left England when he was six months old and lived in Belgium until he was five. Oz and his family moved to Montana in 1951. They eventually settled in Oakland, California. Oz attended Oakland Technical High School and Oakland City College. He worked as an apprentice puppeteer at Children's Fairyland as a teenager with the Vagabond Puppets, a production of the Oakland Recreation Department, where Lettie Connell was his mentor.


Year Film Director Actor Role Notes
1979 The Muppet Movie No Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Marvin Suggs
Puppeteer/Voice
1980 The Blues Brothers No Yes Corrections officer
The Empire Strikes Back No Yes Yoda Puppeteer/Voice
1981 The Great Muppet Caper No Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice
Also producer
An American Werewolf in London No Yes Mr. Collins
1982 The Dark Crystal Yes Yes Aughra Co-directed with Jim Henson
1983 Superman III No Yes Surgeon Deleted scene
Return of the Jedi No Yes Yoda Puppeteer/Voice
Trading Places No Yes Booking cop
1984 The Muppets Take Manhattan Yes Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Bert
Cookie Monster
Ocean Breeze Board member
Additional characters
Also screenwriter
1985 Spies Like Us No Yes Test monitor
Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird No Yes Bert
Grover
Cookie Monster
Puppeteer/Voice
1986 Little Shop of Horrors Yes No
Labyrinth No Yes The Wiseman
1988 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Yes No
1991 Muppet*Vision 3D No Yes Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Sam Eagle
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice
Theme park attraction
What About Bob? Yes No
1992 Housesitter Yes No
Innocent Blood No Yes Pathologist
The Muppet Christmas Carol No Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice
Also executive producer
1995 The Indian in the Cupboard Yes No
1996 Muppet Treasure Island No Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice
Also executive producer
1997 In & Out Yes No
1998 Blues Brothers 2000 No Yes Warden
1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace No Yes Yoda Puppeteer/Voice
Muppets from Space No Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Additional characters
Voice
Bowfinger Yes No
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland No Yes Bert
Grover
Cookie Monster
Voice
2001 The Score Yes No
Monsters, Inc. No Yes Jeff Fungus Voice
2002 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones No Yes Yoda
2004 The Stepford Wives Yes No
2005 Zathura No Yes Robot Voice
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith No Yes Yoda
2007 Death at a Funeral Yes No
2011 Star Tours–The Adventures Continue No Yes Yoda Voice
Theme park attraction
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey No Yes Himself Documentary
2014 I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story No Yes Himself Documentary
2015 Inside Out No Yes Subconscious Guard Dave Voice
Star Wars: The Force Awakens No Yes Yoda Voice (archive recording)
2017 Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched Yes Yes Himself Documentary
Also producer
Year Title Director Actor Role Notes
1969–present Sesame Street No Yes Bert
Grover
Cookie Monster
Lefty the Salesman
Harvey Kneeslapper
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice; semi-retired from the show in 2001, now performs his characters a few episodes per year
1976–1981 The Muppet Show No Yes Fozzie Bear
Miss Piggy
Sam Eagle
Animal
Marvin Suggs
George the Janitor
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice
1977 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas No Yes Alice Otter (puppetry)
Chuck Stoat (puppetry and voice)
Puppeteer/Voice
Television film
1989–1990 The Jim Henson Hour No Yes Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Puppeteer/Voice
1990 The Muppets at Walt Disney World No Yes Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Animal
Puppeteer/Voice
1994 Jim Henson's Animal Show No Yes Sam Eagle Puppeteer/Voice
Episode: "Bald Eagle"
1996–1998 Muppets Tonight No Yes Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Sam Eagle
Animal
Additional characters
Puppeteer/Voice
1999 CinderElmo No Yes Bert
Grover
Cookie Monster
Voice
Television film
2002 The Funkhousers Yes No Television film
2011 Leverage Yes No Episode: "The Carnival Job"
2015–2016 Star Wars Rebels No Yes Yoda Voice
2 episodes
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Voice
The Muppet CDROM: Muppets Inside Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Animal
2000 Muppet Monster Adventure Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Muppet RaceMania Miss Piggy
Fozzie Bear
Sam Eagle
Animal
Year Award Category Program Result
1974 News & Documentary Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children's Programming
Shared with Fran Brill, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson & Caroll Spinney
Sesame Street Won
1976 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Programming
Shared with Gerri Brioso, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson & Caroll Spinney
Won
1977 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series
Shared with Jack Burns, Dave Goelz, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, David Lazer, John Lovelady, Jerry Nelson, Eren Ozker & Caroll Spinney
The Muppet Show Nominated
1978 Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series
Shared with Jim Henson, David Lazer, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt & Dave Goelz
Won
1979 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children's Programming
Shared with Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson & Caroll Spinney
Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series
Shared with Jim Henson, David Lazer, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt & Dave Goelz
Nominated
Preceded by
None
Performer of Cookie Monster
November 10, 1969 (1969-11-10) – January 1, 2001 (2001-01-01)
Succeeded by
David Rudman
Preceded by
None
Performer of Bert and Performer of Grover
November 10, 1969 (1969-11-10) – January 1, 1998 (1998-01-01)
Succeeded by
Eric Jacobson
Preceded by
None
Performer of Miss Piggy
1976 – 2000
Succeeded by
Eric Jacobson
Preceded by
None
Performer of Animal
1975 – 2000
Succeeded by
Eric Jacobson
Preceded by
None
Performer of Sam the Eagle
1975 – 2000
Succeeded by
Eric Jacobson
Preceded by
None
Performer of Fozzie Bear
1976 – 2000
Succeeded by
Eric Jacobson

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Wikipedia

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