Jerry Nelson, the man behind Sesame Street’s Count von Count, has died aged 78.
The Oklahoma born puppeteer worked on numerous projects featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets including Fraggle Rock.
Nelson’s first job with the Muppets was The Jimmy Dean Show in 1965 when he replaced Frank Oz as Rowlf the Dog’s right hand.
He later went on to work again with Henson on Sesame Street, animating some of the show’s best-loved characters including Mr Snuffleupaguss.
A statement from the Sesame Workshop said: “He will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters.
“We will miss his extraordinary spirit and the joy he brought to our Street.”
Nelson, who suffered from emphysema, died on Thursday in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.