Known as a gentle dreamer who preferred to let his Muppet creations take the spotlight, Jim Henson was also a savvy dealmaker who earned a reputation as "the new Walt Disney," and his bearded visage was recognized around the world. The biographer of Washington Irving and George Lucas here gives us a sweeping yet intimate portrait of Henson and the full arc of his all-too-brief life, written with the cooperation of his family and his closest collaborators. 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 also illuminates the creative context for Henson's other 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. Here too is insight into Henson's intensely private life—his Christian Science upbringing, his love of fast cars and expensive art, his weakness for women—and the fear haunting his otherwise optimistic nature that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life.
"An exhaustive work that is never exhausting, a credit both to Jones's brisk style and to Henson's exceptional life."—NYTimes
"Jim was one of my closest friends. And yet I found out things about him in Jim Henson that were new to me. Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim's genius and humanity, as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect. I thank Brian for giving Jim life again. This book has captured the spirit of Jim Henson."—Frank Oz