By Brian Jay Jones
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED the best BOOKS OF THE 12 months by way of BOOKPAGE
For the 1st time ever—a accomplished biography of 1 of the 20 th century’s such a lot cutting edge inventive artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson
He used to be a gradual dreamer whose genial bearded visage used to be well-known all over the world, yet most folks received to grasp him in simple terms in the course of the iconic characters born of his fertile mind's eye: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, leave out Piggy, great chicken. The Muppets made Jim Henson a family identify, yet they have been simply a part of his extraordinary story.
This remarkable biography—written with the beneficiant cooperation of the Henson family—covers the complete arc of Henson’s all-too-brief lifestyles: from his youth in Leland, Mississippi, over the years of burgeoning popularity in the United States, to the last decade of overseas superstar that preceded his premature demise at age fifty-three. Drawing on 1000's of hours of latest interviews with Henson's family members, acquaintances, and closest collaborators, in addition to extraordinary entry to personal relatives and corporate data, Brian Jay Jones explores the production of the Muppets, Henson’s contributions to Sesame road and Saturday evening dwell, and his approximately ten-year crusade to convey The Muppet Show to tv. Jones offers the creative context for Henson’s non-Muppet tasks, together with the richly imagined worlds of The darkish Crystal and Labyrinth—as good as interesting misfires like Henson’s dream of commencing an inflatable psychedelic nightclub.
An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all of the features of this American unique: the grasp craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on tv, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess received him a name as “the new Walt Disney,” and the artistic group chief whose collaborative ethos earned him the timeless loyalty of every body who labored for him. the following is also perception into Henson’s intensely deepest own lifestyles: his Christian technological know-how upbringing, his love of speedy autos and costly artwork, and his weak spot for ladies. notwithstanding an optimist through nature, Henson used to be haunted by means of the idea that he wouldn't have time to do the whole lot he desired to do in life—a worry that his heartbreaking ultimate hours may end up all too good founded.
An up-close examine the charmed lifetime of a legend, Jim Henson offers the entire degree to a guy whose pleased genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and maintains to beguile audiences worldwide.
Praise for Jim Henson
“Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the incredible guy and his Muppet tools: It’s an absolute must-read!”—Neil Patrick Harris
“An exhaustive paintings that's by no means arduous, a credits either to Jones’s brisk variety and to Henson’s remarkable life.”—The New York Times
“[A] sweeping portrait that may be a mixture of humor, mirth and poignancy.”—Washington self sufficient overview of Books
“A meticulously researched tome chock-full of gemstones in regards to the Muppets and the main thorough portrait in their author ever crafted.”—Associated Press
“Jim used to be considered one of my closest acquaintances. And but i discovered out issues approximately him in Jim Henson that have been new to me. Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim’s genius and humanity, in addition to the issues that made Jim, like any folks, so delightfully imperfect. I thank Brian for giving Jim lifestyles back. This ebook has captured the spirit of Jim Henson.”—Frank Oz
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional info for Jim Henson: The Biography
Artsy and gifted and with a dry humorousness as edgy as Jim’s used to be playful, Jane used to be flexible in arts and crafts—and, as Jim could quickly realize, a able puppeteer. Born in St. Albans, Queens, on June sixteen, 1934, Jane was once the 3rd and youngest baby of Winifred and Adalbert Nebel, an coverage salesman with an curiosity in astrology. presently after Jane used to be born, in spite of the fact that, Adalbert—who, as Jane remembered, regularly “had just a little a temper”—abruptly hand over his activity on the assurance corporation and located himself with out paintings on the top of the melancholy. Jane’s practical-minded mother—who were completely chuffed dwelling because the spouse of an assurance man—firmly reminded her husband in their personal loan and 3 teenagers and insisted Adalbert locate paintings instantly, regardless of the challenging financial stipulations that made jobs scarce. Dutifully, Adalbert took abnormal jobs, promoting cosmetics and stocking sweet machines, whereas taking astrology sessions within the evenings. cash persisted to be scarce, yet Adalbert might continuously be capable of earn one reprieve after one other from the family’s softhearted landlord by way of showing a impressive aptitude for the dramatic that his daughter could inherit. After studying the owner was once on his excess of to assemble the lease, Adalbert may meticulously position Jane on her mother’s lap and get dressed her brother in his most interesting outfits, brushing the boy’s hair until eventually it shone. He may then solution the door, ensuring to open it a ways adequate to permit the owner to work out Mrs. Nebel and the kids, taking a look each inch the picture-perfect storybook family—and fairly most unlikely for the sympathetic landlord to eject into the road over again hire. ultimately, Adalbert turned skilled sufficient at astrology to earn his dwelling as an astrologer, adopting the pro personality of Dal Lee and turning into popular because the editor of the preferred and hugely profitable courses Astrology advisor and your own Astrology. As Dal Lee, Adalbert enjoyed writing the editorials for his magazines, his two-finger typing clattering away loudly in any respect hours of the evening. To Jane, woke up by way of the noise, it was once essentially the most reassuring sounds on the earth. “I might depend upon going downstairs at within the morning and having a superb speak with him,” she stated. Jane cherished their conversations, and whereas she by no means turned a robust believer in astrology, she did come to understand their shared obdurate streak and wickedly skeptical humorousness. take heed to what humans need to say, Adalbert advised his daughter, no matter if what they’re asserting is probably not precise. As undefined, Jane moved to Salisbury, Maryland, within the state’s japanese Shore zone, yet spent the following numerous years greater than 300 miles away in a boarding college in Lexington, Virginia. whereas Jane mentioned her personal grades as “not so great,” together with her Maryland residency they have been sound sufficient for admittance to the college of Maryland in 1951. Enrolling as a pragmatic artwork significant, Jane had in the beginning selected the humanities and crafts software below the house Economics division, then moved to the school of schooling to develop into an paintings schooling significant.