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Caroll Spinney, Legendary Sesame Street Puppeteer Behind Big Bird And Oscar The Grouch, Dead At 85

Photo: JPI

More sorrowful news on Sunday.  Caroll Spinney, the legendary puppeteer behind beloved Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch,died today,  at the age 85 at his home in Connecticut.  Spinney has been suffering from dystonia for quite some time.

For the body of his life’s work, Spinney received many significant honors.  He was the recipient of four Daytime Emmy awards, as well as the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, the Library of Congress’ Living Legend Award, two Grammy awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

PhotoL SesameStreetWorkshop

The Sesame Street workshop put on this press release upon his passing: “Caroll was an artistic genius whose kind and loving view of the world helped shape and define Sesame Street from its earliest days in 1969 through five decades, and his legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending. His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while.

Welcomed to Sesame Street by Jim Henson, Caroll thrived under a mentorship that led to a decades-long great friendship. Caroll’s unparalleled career saw Big Bird visit China with Bob Hope, dance with the Rockettes, be celebrated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a U.S. postage stamp, and named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. A favorite highlight for Caroll was conducting symphony orchestras and performing with them across the United States, Australia, and China, allowing him to personally connect with families everywhere through the music of Sesame Street. Caroll Spinney gave something truly special to the world. With deepest admiration, Sesame Workshop is proud to carry his memory – and his beloved characters – into the future. Our hearts go out to Caroll’s beloved wife, Debra, and all of his children and grandchildren.

Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said of her longtime colleague and friend, “Caroll Spinney’s contributions to Sesame Street are countless. He not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well. We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world.”

Share your thoughts on the passing of Caroll Spinney and his tremendous contribution for bringing to life for children young and old, Big Bird, and Oscar the Crouch and more.

But first, watch Barbara Walters present Spinney with the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Breaking News

Krista Allen is The Bold and the Beautiful’s New Taylor Hayes

In a shocking casting move, former Days of our Lives star, Krista Allen (Ex-Billie Reed from 1996-1999) has replaced long time B&B favorite, Hunter Tylo in the role of Dr. Taylor Hayes.

According to EW.com, Allen will take over the role of beginning on December 10th. Tylo, had previously played the role of Taylor for over three decades on the CBS daytime drama series.

Photo: JPI

The report also notes that The Bold and the Beautiful did reach out to Hunter about reprising her signature role but was unsuccessful.

For fans of the show, Taylor has been absent for many key story points since 2019 including: her son Thomas’ brain surgery and the recent marriage of her daughter, Steffy’s marriage to Finn, plus the birth of her grandson and more.

In a tweet following the casting news being announced, Allen shared on her Twitter account: “This is gonna be a fun one! Very excited to step into this iconic role and be back on Daytime after 25 years! … Omg T-W-E-N-T-Y F-I-V-E years?”

Krista will start taping at B&B’s CBS Television City soundstage this Friday, October 28th, and will share her first scenes with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge). Will there be trouble ahead in his marriage of Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Ridge with NuTaylor back in the picture?

Allen was recently seen on the TV series 9-1-1, and numerous primetime and film appearances.

So, what do you think of Krista Allen becoming the recast Dr. Taylor Hayes? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Emily O’Brien Previews Her Directorial Debut and Short Film ‘Too Close’

She’s an actress, a voice-over talent, writer, and now she can add director to her impressive resumeDays of our Lives star Emily O’Brien (Gwen) has shared over the last 24 hours a preview clip of her short film, Too Close.

Emily stated via her Instagram account: “Here’s a peek at the trailer for my short film entitled Too Close– I am so fortunate to have made this with my beloved team alongside me. My vision couldn’t have been brought to life without any of you, I am truly touched by your tenacity & genuine love for creativity!”  O’Brien shared the hashtags: #directorialdebut #filmmaking #periodpiece #cinema #womeninfilm
#writeyourownstory #vintagefilm

Photo: IMDb

You can check out the teaser for the film below which centers on the story of a young man and woman in the 1950’s examining what it means when two people in a relationship are considered to be too close.

Let us know if you are intrigued by the preview, and would like to see Emily’s short film via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Emily O’Brien (@emroya)

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Days Of Our Lives

Jensen Ackles Shares Heartfelt Message on Death of ‘Rust’ DP Halyna Hutchins: “This Has Been a Tragedy of Epic Proportions”

Former Days of our Lives and Supernatural star, Jensen Ackles (Ex-Eric and Ex-Dean)  took to his Instagram over the weekend to pay tribute to cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins who was tragically killed in New Mexico, on the set of the film Rust in which Ackles co-starred with Alec Baldwin and Frances Fisher. Baldwin is also one of the producers of the film.

Last Thursday, in the initial investigation reports surfaced that Baldwin discharged a “prop gun” leading to the death of Hutchins and injuring director, Joel Souza.  Since that time it has been reported that Baldwin was told by the assistant director, David Halls, that the weapon was a “cold gun” meaning not loaded with live rounds following its preparation by the film set’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez.  But in his affidavit statement, Halls says he was unaware that the prop gun contained live rounds when it was given to Baldwin for his scene.

The scene Baldwin was rehearsing was inside a church building at the Bonanza Creek Ranch. In new affidavit’s, it was noted that Baldwin was ‘cross drawing’ the weapon and pointing the gun towards the camera lens.

Photo: Getty

A grief-stricken Ackles shared:  “I’m not even sure where to start.  This has been a tragedy of epic proportions that we are all still processing. Earlier last week I felt compelled to tell Halyna just how awesome I thought she was. I told her how incredible I thought her camera shots were and just how exciting it was to watch her and her team work. Truly. She laughed and said thank you and gave me a hug. I’ll forever be thankful we had that moment.  She had a spunk and passion that infected the entire crew from the top down. She was an inspiration. My heart and prayers go out to Halyna’s husband, son and the rest of her family. There just aren’t enough words to express what an immense loss this is. She will be incredibly missed by all of us who knew and admired her.”

Since Hutchins’ death, a video also surfaced of Ackles discussing his concerns for gun safety on the set of Rust at a Supernatural convention in Colorado prior to the tragedy.

Jensen told the crowd: “I’ve got a 6 a.m. call tomorrow to have a big shoot-out. They had me pick my gun. They were like, ‘Alright, what gun would you like?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know?’ and the armorer was like, ‘Do you have gun experience?’ I was like, ‘A little.’ And she’s like, ‘OK, well, this is how you load it, this is how we check it and make sure it’s safe. “So she’s like, ‘OK, I’m gonna put some blanks in there and I want you to just go and fire off a couple rounds towards the hill.’ And I was like, ‘OK.’ So I put the belt on, I put the gun there, and I walked out and she’s like, ‘Just make sure that you know, you pull the hammer all the way back and you aim at your target.’ And I was like, ‘OK, I got it.’  The footage was originally on You Tube, but now has been taken down.

The investigation remains and open and active on what occurred on the set of Rust, according to the Santa Fe New Mexico Sheriff’s office.

So, what do you think about Jensen’s tribute in the wake of the Rust tragedy? Comment below.

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DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati talks with Michael Fairman on the creation and the making of the limited-series “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem” currently streaming on Peacock. Leave A Comment

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