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Jim Henson

The Biography
Jones, Brian Jay (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Jim Henson
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A comprehensive biography of the life and accomplishments of the famous puppeteer and creator of the Muppets. "For the first time ever-- a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century's most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson. He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters he created: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story. This extraordinary biography--written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family--covers the full arc of Henson's all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi; through the years of burgeoning fame in Washington D.C., New York, and London; to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives (including never-before-seen interviews, business documents, and Henson's private letters), Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson's contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson's non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth--as well as fascinating misfires like Henson's dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub or staging an elaborate all-puppet Broadway show. An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as "the new Walt Disney," and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson's intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing; his love of fast cars, high-stakes gambling, and expensive art; and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life--a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded. An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture--and continues to beguile audiences worldwide. Advance praise for Jim Henson "I'm a rabid Jim Henson fan--his brilliant ideas spawned shows that entertained and educated millions, myself included. Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods. It's an absolute must read!"--Neil Patrick Harris "Every Muppet fan has wondered who was behind the wide-mouthed, bug-eyed, furry creatures. Before now all we had was a credit line: Jim Henson. Now, with Brian Jay Jones's riveting Jim Henson, we have a nuanced portrait of the puppeteer--part genius inspired by his Mississippi Delta roots and his Christian Science faith, part flawed human with tastes too rich in everything from his art and cars to his women--that brings new understanding of and empathy for an icon of American popular culture."--Larry Tye, author of Satchel and Superman"--
Authors: Jones, Brian Jay
Title: Jim Henson
the biography
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books,, 2013
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: xiv, 585 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: Blue sky, 1973
The Delta, 1936-1949
A means to an end, 1949-1955
Sam and Friends, 1955-1957
Muppets, Inc., 1957-1962
A crazy little band, 1962-1969
Sesame Street, 196901970
big ideas, 1970-1973
The mucking Fuppets, 1973-1975
Muppetmania, 1975-1977
Life's like a movie, 1977-1979
The world in his head, 1979-1982
Twists and turns, 1982-1986
Storyteller, 1986-1987
A kind of craziness, 1987-1989
So much on a handshake, 1989-1990
Just one person, 1990
Legacy
Summary: A comprehensive biography of the life and accomplishments of the famous puppeteer and creator of the Muppets.
"For the first time ever-- a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century's most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson. He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters he created: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story. This extraordinary biography--written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family--covers the full arc of Henson's all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi; through the years of burgeoning fame in Washington D.C., New York, and London; to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives (including never-before-seen interviews, business documents, and Henson's private letters), Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson's contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson's non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth--as well as fascinating misfires like Henson's dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub or staging an elaborate all-puppet Broadway show. An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as "the new Walt Disney," and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson's intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing; his love of fast cars, high-stakes gambling, and expensive art; and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life--a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded. An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture--and continues to beguile audiences worldwide. Advance praise for Jim Henson "I'm a rabid Jim Henson fan--his brilliant ideas spawned shows that entertained and educated millions, myself included. Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods. It's an absolute must read!"--Neil Patrick Harris "Every Muppet fan has wondered who was behind the wide-mouthed, bug-eyed, furry creatures. Before now all we had was a credit line: Jim Henson. Now, with Brian Jay Jones's riveting Jim Henson, we have a nuanced portrait of the puppeteer--part genius inspired by his Mississippi Delta roots and his Christian Science faith, part flawed human with tastes too rich in everything from his art and cars to his women--that brings new understanding of and empathy for an icon of American popular culture."--Larry Tye, author of Satchel and Superman"--
ISBN: 0345526112
9780345526113
Statement of Responsibility: Brian Jay Jones
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages [497]-557) and index
Subject Headings: Television producers and directors United States Biography Puppeteers United States Biography Sesame Street (Television program) Muppet show (Television program) Henson, Jim
Topical Term: Television producers and directors
Puppeteers
LCCN: 2013024039
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2014 Plutarch Award for Best Biography - Finalist

Apr 30, 2014
  • amykduffy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Jim Henson was inspirational because of his boundless creative energy but even more so for his eternal optimism. He created so many iconic characters that have brightened the lives of kids of all ages. But he is one of my heroes because he was a quiet, kind person who still managed to build a business empire and lead a huge team of like-minded individuals. This book will make you want to accomplish and create great things.

Apr 24, 2014
  • Kmoellering rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

As someone who was not old enough to remember the majority of his work, I found this book very interesting. I quite often found myself looking up the old videos of the coffee commercials where he got his start in puppetry and Rowlfe on the Jimmy Dean show.

This is a very thorough biography, and as such, is quite a long book. There were times when I felt it was a little long winded, but over all a great book. By then end it had in tears over his passing, because I felt like I knew him!

Growing up (and still today) absolutely loving the Muppets, this was a must read for me!

Apr 24, 2014
  • CraigGraziano rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Jim Henson: The Biography approaches the man through his work. This makes sense since, as he was the artist who redefined puppetry, Henson created and entertained almost non-stop for four decades.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/jim_henson_jones

Dec 13, 2013
  • danielestes rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Kermit the Frog and company are such confirmed icons of popular culture that it's difficult to imagine the world without them. And many who love and adore the Muppets aren't even aware of their modest beginnings on a local Washington, D.C. television program in the 1950's called Sam and Friends. It was this lucky intersection of Jim Henson, puppetry and early TV that was the key to the international success that would follow. This was the difference between the Muppets becoming timeless characters versus being forgotten as onetime wonders. With Jim at the helm they would go from local TV, to commercials, to a regular TV series, to eventually starring in their own franchise of movies.

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones is as much the Muppet's story as it is Jim's. You'll see values from his own Normal Rockwell-esque upbringing that would naturally be passed on to his work and in those who worked for him. And he wasn't always the kind man he's often portrayed as either, but it's complexities like these that makes his story all that more interesting to read.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/29 09:56