Jerry Nelson, the Emmy-winning puppeteer best known for playing the famous Count von Count on Sesame Street, died Thursday (August 23) of unspecified causes, according to CBC Radio-Canada. He was 78. Nelson, a Tulsa native who grew up in Washington, D.C., also performed Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show‘s Sgt. Floyd Pepper of the Electric Mayhem band; “Pigs in Space” Dr. Julius Strange pork; Kermit the Frog’s nephew Robin; and Gonzo’s girlfriend Camilla the Chicken, among other roles. He first trained with American puppeteer Bill Baird, who was responsible for the lively “Lonely Goatherd” marionette sequence in the 1965 movie blockbuster The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews. He worked with Muppet creator Jim Henson on TV’s The Jimmy Dean Show, a variety program on which Kermit and the gang first became popular with American audiences. Nelson’s Sesame Street stint began in the ’70s. He continued to be the Count until his retirement in 2004.
The news of her demise was given through a blog of Sporn Michel, who had worked with Jerry Nelson on various animation projects. It is a great loss for the puppet world as he was respected for the contribution, which he made to the world of animation. Nelson was suffering from brain tumor since many years but he fought the battle and continued working on her projects. Jerry Nelson was passionate about empowering people to learn the art of puppets. On his demise, some of the best puppeteers stared with watery eyes that, he would be missed in the animation world.