Muppets Co-Creator Jane Henson Dies of Cancer

By Jase Peeples

Originally published on Advocate.com April 03 2013 1:03 PM ET

The Wrap reports co-creator of the Muppets and ex-wife of Jim Henson, Jane Henson, died in her Connecticut home Tuesday at age 78 after a long battle with cancer.

Born Jane Ann Nebel, Henson met her future husband in a puppetry class while studying at the University of Maryland in 1954.

Shortly thereafter, the two produced Sam and Friends, a five-minute series which served as a prototype for the Muppets.

The two married in 1959 and had five children before legally separating in 1986.

Though their marriage ended, Jane continued to collaborate with Jim on several projects, including the traveling museum exhibit The Art of the Muppets, The Muppet Show on Tour and the Sesame Street Live arena stage shows. She also served on the board of the Jim Henson Foundation and founded the Jim Henson Legacy after Jim’s death in 1990 to preserve his artistic contributions.

Jane also cofounded the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in an effort to find new puppetry talent and created the Jane Henson Foundation in 2001, where she continued her philanthropic work.

Jane is survived by her five children.