Jerry Nelson, the voice and skilled puppeteer behind the math-addicted vampire Count von Count on Sesame Street, has passed away. He was 78-years-old.
The Jim Henson company has confirmed the news in a statement on the studio’s Facebook page.
The statement reads, “Jerry Nelson imbued all his characters with the same gentle, sweet whimsy and kindness that were a part of his own personality. He joined The Jim Henson Company in the earliest years, and his unique contributions to the worlds of Fraggles, Muppets, Sesame Street and so many others are, and will continue to be, unforgettable. On behalf of the Henson family and everyone at The Jim Henson Company,” she continues, “our deepest sympathies go out to Jerry’s family and to his many fans.”
Nelson began working with Henson when they both met while working at WRC in Washington D.C. Nelson worked on Seasame Street, The Muppet Show, and various Muppet movies.
Alongside The Count, Nelson created Mr. Snuffleupagus, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Dr. Julius Stragepork, USS Swinetrek, Camilla the Chicken, Lew Zealand, and Robin. Nelson was also behind Gobo Fraggle in Fraggle Rock.
Neslon retired as a puppeteer in 2004, but continued to work for The Muppets, and providing the voice of The Count up until his death. Nelson appeared as a telethon announcer in last year’s The Muppets.