Frank Oz
American actor and director
Frank Oz
Frank Oz is an American film director, actor, voice actor and puppeteer who is known for creating and performing the characters Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Show, as well as Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover in Sesame Street. His work as a film director includes 1986's Little Shop of Horrors remake and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He is also the operator and voice of Yoda in the Star Wars film series.
Biography
Frank Oz's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Frank Oz from around the web
Miss Piggy Finally Shoots Down A Popular Muppets Legend About Yoda
Huffington Post - 3 months
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, it made sense that Miss Piggy was related to Yoda. In fact, it was likely that she was his mama. George Lucas once said that Yoda was the illegitimate child of Piggy and Kermit, Frank Oz used to voice both Piggy and Yoda, and there are even photos of the three characters together on the “Star Wars” set:  Luke meets some of Yoda's distant relatives But what does Piggy have to say?  The Huffington Post caught up with her at the Kate Spade offices to find out. There, she finally addressed the “Star Wars” connection, saying, “Comment on rumors, I will not!” She then burst out laughing, adding, “No that is stupid. That is stilly. What are you saying?” function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['p ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
More than magic and puppets: Derek DelGaudio and Frank Oz on their upcoming show
LATimes - 10 months
The discussion was intentionally vague on Wednesday night at NeueHouse Hollywood — “cryptic,” as Derek DelGaudio offered afterward. The magician and performance artist was attempting to “start the conversation” about his upcoming show, “In & Of Itself,” along with producer Glenn Kaino and director...
Article Link:
LATimes article
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' cast, crew and premiere guests relive first 'Star Wars' memory
LATimes - about 1 year
During the red-carpet premiere of the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," we asked the cast and crew, as well as some notable guests, to share their earliest "Star Wars" memories. Along with a few legacy players — including Frank Oz (puppeteer and voice of Yoda) — premiere viewers such as Lucasfilm...
Article Link:
LATimes article
‘Star Wars Rebels’ teasers offer glimpse at new animated series
LATimes - about 3 years
#photogallery-wrapper{width:100%;background:#000;min-height:450px;} #photogallery{background:#000;width:600px;margin:0px auto;min-height:450px;} .photogalleryloader{} #photogallery div.galleryitem{width:100%;margin:0 0 30px;} #photogallery div.galleryitem p{text-align:left;margin:5px 0px;padding:0 10px;} #photogallery div.galleryitem p.galleryCaption{padding-top:5px;border-top:1px #333 solid;} #photogallery div.galleryitem img{margin:0 auto;border:none;} #photogallery .galleryCredit{letter-spacing:1px;font-size:.75em;text-transform:uppercase;} Character sheet for Kanan, the "cowboy Jedi." (Lucasfilm) http://herocomplex.latimes.com/tv/star-wars-rebels-animated-series-introduces-cowboy-jedi-kanan/attachment/reb_ca_54/ 1 Link Computer graphic model of Kanan's head. (Lucasfilm) http://herocomplex.latimes.com/tv/star-wars-rebels-animated-series-introduces-cowboy-jedi-kanan/attachment/reb_ia_83/ 2 Link Computer rendering of Kanan, the "cow ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ final season premieres on Netflix March 7
LATimes - about 3 years
“The Clone Wars.” (Lucasfilm) The sixth and final season of the “Star Wars” animated series “The Clone Wars” is coming to Netflix. Subscribers in the U.S. and Canada will be able to watch the final 13 episodes of the popular show, dubbed “The Lost Season,” beginning March 7. “The Clone Wars” aired on Cartoon Network but was canceled last year to make way for a new series, “Star Wars Rebels,” which will premiere on the Disney Channel in the fall before airing regularly on Disney XD. In addition to “The Lost Season,” Netflix also will make available the entirety of “The Clone Wars’” first five seasons, including several director’s-cut episodes not previously seen on television, in addition to the “Clone Wars” feature film. PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ at the box office “’Star Wars’ is one of the most iconic franchises of all time and this series joins a long line of Disney content that Netflix members are and will continue to enjoy for years to come,” Netflix chief content officer T ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Watch Jim Henson's even creepier original cut of the family classic 'The Dark Crystal'
Yahoo News - about 3 years
A fan has restored and released a new cut of the The Dark Crystal that closely resembles its makers' original vision. If you haven't seen it, the movie is a delightfully dark '80s fantasy created by master puppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz. In an interview with Mental Floss, Christopher Orgeron explains how he pieced together early cuts and final footage to recreate the closest possible thing to a "directors' cut" of the movie. The result is a patchy movie that, while hardly acting as a replacement for your Blu Ray, provides insight into Henson and Oz's vision for The Dark Crystal.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams’ film to open December 18, 2015
LATimes - over 3 years
#photogallery-wrapper{width:100%;background:#000;min-height:450px;} #photogallery{background:#000;width:600px;margin:0px auto;min-height:450px;} .photogalleryloader{} #photogallery div.galleryitem{width:100%;margin:0 0 30px;} #photogallery div.galleryitem p{text-align:left;margin:5px 0px;padding:0 10px;} #photogallery div.galleryitem p.galleryCaption{padding-top:5px;border-top:1px #333 solid;} #photogallery div.galleryitem img{margin:0 auto;border:none;} #photogallery .galleryCredit{letter-spacing:1px;font-size:.75em;text-transform:uppercase;} J.J. Abrams, who has made a name for himself writing, directing and producing such hits as "Lost" and "Star Trek," was tapped in January to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII." (Tracey Nearmy / European Pressphoto Agency) http://herocomplex.latimes.com/movies/j-j-abrams-set-to-direct-star-wars-episode-vii/attachment/us-film-producerwriterdirector-j-j-abrams-3/ 1 Link Abrams made his first foray into television in ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan to pen script
LATimes - over 3 years
#photogallery-wrapper{width:100%;background:#000;min-height:450px;} #photogallery{background:#000;width:600px;margin:0px auto;min-height:450px;} .photogalleryloader{} #photogallery div.galleryitem{width:100%;margin:0 0 30px;} #photogallery div.galleryitem p{text-align:left;margin:5px 0px;padding:0 10px;} #photogallery div.galleryitem p.galleryCaption{padding-top:5px;border-top:1px #333 solid;} #photogallery div.galleryitem img{margin:0 auto;border:none;} #photogallery .galleryCredit{letter-spacing:1px;font-size:.75em;text-transform:uppercase;} J.J. Abrams, who has made a name for himself writing, directing and producing such hits as "Lost" and "Star Trek," was tapped in January to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII." (Tracey Nearmy / European Pressphoto Agency) http://herocomplex.latimes.com/movies/j-j-abrams-set-to-direct-star-wars-episode-vii/attachment/us-film-producerwriterdirector-j-j-abrams-3/ 1 Link Abrams made his first foray into television in ...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Lee Daniel Kravetz: Will Elmo Survive (and Should He?) What Kevin Clash's Departure Means For Sesame Street and the Rest of Us
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Like many, I was saddened, shocked, and conflicted by the accusations and ultimate departure of Kevin Clash from Sesame Street. I was a publicist at PBS when I first met Kevin. A producer offered me the chance to co-write a Sesame Street segment that the cast would perform live for the White House and two hundred children of U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq. Nervous and keyed up by my first in-person trip to Sesame Street, I flew from Boston to New York and arrived at Kaufman Astoria Studios. The cast, including Bob McGrath, Roscoe Orman, various Muppeteers and wranglers, composer Mike Renzi, and I were crammed in a small office rehearsing the script when someone new poked his head in the doorway. After a minute, he pinched his voice and tensed his cheeks in a way that resembled a smile when Elmo appeared -- bodiless -- from the mouth of Kevin Clash. "Hi everyone!" intoned Kevin. Seeing Kevin, a large, barrel-chested black man, and hearing the childish falsetto of ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Jerry Nelson Dead: Muppet Performer Dies At 78
Moviefone Blog - over 4 years
Sad news for Muppet fans: original performer Jerry Nelson has died at the age of 78. Muppet Central first reported the news, with it being verified by the CBC. Although no cause of death has been released, Nelson had struggled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and prostate cancer. Nelson first began working with Jim Henson in 1965, when Frank Oz was drafted, and Henson needed a new right-hand performer for Rowlf the Dog on "The Jimmy Dean Show." When Oz failed his physical, Nelson stayed on board performing various characters for Henson's TV specials, including the full-bodied Thog the Monster and developing Kermit's nephew Robin. He joined "Sesame Street" in its second season developing the characters of Count von Count and Mr. Sunffleupagus, among others. A fruitful relationship with Richard Hunt, inspired the creation of the Two-Headed Monster. On "The Muppet Show," Nelson performed a variety of one-off characters, with some proving so popular that they became recu ...
Article Link:
Moviefone Blog article
Frank Oz speaks — but not as Yoda or Miss Piggy
LATimes - over 4 years
The Muppet puppeteer and movie director heads to Los Angeles to accept a lifetime achievement Saturn Award. A word to the wise, Frank Oz fans: He won't do that Yoda impression.
Article Link:
LATimes article
Frank Oz to 'Star Wars' fans: Do the Yoda impression I won't
LATimes - over 4 years
Frank Oz was the voice of the wise and beloved Yoda and, more than 30 years after the character's debut, not a month goes by without a fan approaching Oz with a simple request ¿ but the answer is always the same: Do the impression he won't.
Article Link:
LATimes article
Celebrate Cookie Monster's Birthday
ABC News - almost 5 years
We’d like to think that the Cookie Monster celebrates his birthday by blowing out the candles on one giant cookie.  Although this character celebrates his birthday on November 2, it is also celebrated today in honor of the birthday of Muppet puppeteer, Frank Oz. RECIPE:...
Article Link:
ABC News article
PHOTOS: The Best Cookies In LA
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
"Me want cookie!" says the Cookie Monster, and what better way to celebrate one of his two birthdays than with our favorite Los Angeles cookies? But first, let's take a look back at how the Cookie Monster came to be. In 1966, the Cookie Monster was created by Jim Henson, but he was known as the Wheel Stealer. The Wheel Stealer as one of three characters in an unaired commercial. Two years later, the Cookie Monster reemerged in the form we know now. He was played by Frank Oz, who's birthday is also May 25th. Oz is also known for playing Miss Piggy, Bert and Grover. The Cookie Monster celebrates his birthday on Frank Oz's birthday, May 25, as well as his own personal birthday which is November 2. Check back then, maybe our list of best LA cookies will have changed! In honor of the Cookie Monster, we present the 10 best cookies in Los Angeles:
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Celeb birthdays for the week of May 20-26
The Palm Beach Post - almost 5 years
May 20: Singer Joe Cocker is 68. Singer-actress Cher is 66. Actor Dave Thomas is 63. Musician Warren Cann of Ultravox is 60. Actor Dean Butler (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 56. Guitarist Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s is 54. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 53. Singer Susan Cowsill of The Cowsills is 53. Actor John Billingsley (“Enterprise”) is 52. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 52. Singer Nick Heyward of Haircut 100 is 51. TV personality Ted Allen (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) is 47. Actress Mindy Cohn (“Facts of Life”) is 46. Guitarist Tom Gorman of Belly is 46. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 40. Bassist Ryan Martinie of Mudvayne is 37. Actor Matt Czuchry (“Friday Night Lights,” ”Gilmore Girls”) is 35. Singer-actress Naturi Naughton (3LW) is 28. May 21: Singer Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers is 71. Guitarist Hilton Valentine of The Animals is 69. Actor Richard Hatch (“Battlestar Galactica”) is 67. Keyboardist Bill Champlin (Chicago) is 65. Actress Carol Potter (“Beverly Hills 90210,” ”Sunset Beach”) ...
Article Link:
The Palm Beach Post article
9 Prolific Actor/Director Combos Not Quite as Cool as Johnny Depp and Tim Burton
Movie Line - almost 5 years
This weekend sees the release of Dark Shadows, marking the eighth time director Tim Burton has teamed with Johnny Depp, his second-favorite performer on screen. (He no doubt frequently has to tell Helena Bonham Carter as much.) So natural is their pairing that we have come to expect a certain level of quality and/or box-office performance from their combined efforts, and an announcement of a new Burton title has generally come to carry the promise of a Depp appearance. Although Hollywood has long brought us such fruitful and lucrative actor/director relationships — from both Cary Grant and James Stewart's collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock to Robert De Niro's legendary work with Martin Scorsese — consider nine other long-term pairings packing a little (or a lot) less luster. Héctor Elizondo / Gary Marshall After Marshall cast character actor Elizondo in his feature directing debut, soap-opera spoof Young Doctors In Love, the two became friends to such an extent that the actor has ...
Article Link:
Movie Line article
If Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s New ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Is a Remake of a Remake, Does That Counteract The Remake Backlash?
Film School Rejects - almost 5 years
Little Shop of Horrors is a story about a man-eating plant that’s been around for quite a while. It started off as a silly Roger Corman movie from the early ’60s, but even before that, Corman’s work is thought to have been inspired by a John Collier story called “Green Thoughts” from the ’30s. What most of us probably think of as Little Shop of Horrors comes from the ’80s, however. In 1982 Alan Menken and Howard Ashmen wrote a stage musical based on Corman’s black comedy, and then in 1986 Frank Oz directed a film version of their musical. As strange and campy as it is, Oz’s version of Little Shop still has quite a few fans to this day, so would it be considered an atrocity for someone to remake it? Maybe not, because, according to THR, the someone who’s newly responsible for trying to get a remake of Little Shop together is none other than Internet darling Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That guy’s so cute and talented, we can’t be mad at him, can we? Word is that Gordon-Levitt is putting ...
Article Link:
Film School Rejects article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Frank Oz
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2005
    Age 60
    In 2005, he had a minor part in the Columbia film Zathura as the voice of the Robot.
    More Details Hide Details Other cameos have included playing a surgeon in scenes cut from the theatrical release of Superman III, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan and several other Jim Henson-related films that did not involve just his puppeteering. Even if he does not appear in a Landis movie, his name is often spoken in the background. During airport scenes in Into the Night and Coming to America, there are announcements on the PA system for 'Mr. Frank Oznowicz'. Oz was previously married to Robin Garsen. He is now married to Victoria Labalme. Oz is the father of three sons. He maintained a residence in England for nine years and currently resides in Manhattan (as of 2012).
  • FIFTIES
  • 2001
    Age 56
    In 2001 he had a minor part in the Pixar film Monsters, Inc. as Randall's scare assistant, Fungus.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1998
    Age 53
    In 1998, Oz portrayed a warden in Blues Brothers 2000.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1988
    Age 43
    Usually directing comedies, Oz went on to direct Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 1988, starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, What About Bob? in 1991, starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss, and Housesitter in 1992, starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn (all of which were scored by Miles Goodman).
    More Details Hide Details Later films include The Indian in the Cupboard (1995), In & Out (1997), Bowfinger (1999), The Score (2001), the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives, and the original Death at a Funeral (2007). Oz has frequently experienced on-set tension while directing his films, notably during the productions of What About Bob?, In & Out, The Score and The Stepford Wives. Oz was also considered to direct other films such as Mermaids (1990) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). As an actor, Oz appeared in a bit part as Prison Storeroom Keeper in The Blues Brothers (1980), directed by John Landis. He also appeared in later Landis movies An American Werewolf in London, Spies Like Us, Trading Places and Innocent Blood.
  • 1986
    Age 41
    In 1986 he directed his first movie that did not involve Henson, Little Shop Of Horrors.
    More Details Hide Details The musical film starred Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene, as well as Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, John Candy, Christopher Guest, Jim Belushi and a 15-foot-tall talking plant (voiced by Levi Stubbs) which at times required up to 40 puppeteers to operate. The film allowed Oz to show his ability to work with live actors, and led to opportunities to direct films that did not include puppetry.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1984
    Age 39
    Oz began his behind-the-camera work when he co-directed the fantasy film The Dark Crystal with long-time collaborator Jim Henson. The film featured the most advanced puppets ever created for a movie. Oz further employed those skills in directing 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan, as well as sharing a screenwriting credit.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1963
    Age 18
    His puppetry work spans from 1963 to the present, although he retired completely from the Muppets in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details His characters were taken primarily over by Eric Jacobson (with David Rudman as Cookie Monster) in 2001. Oz is also known as the performer of Jedi Master Yoda from George Lucas' Star Wars series. Jim Henson had originally been contacted by Lucas about possibly performing Yoda. Henson was pre-occupied and suggested Oz to be assigned as chief puppeteer and as creative consultant. While Stuart Freeborn designed and fabricated the Yoda puppet, Oz performed the voice and puppet for Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Oz also provided the voice of the computer-generated imagery (CGI) Yoda in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The conversion to CGI was met with some criticism among fans but Oz himself said that was "exactly what Lucas should have done." Oz had a great deal of creative input on the character and was himself responsible for creating the character's trademark syntax. Oz reprised his vocal role as Yoda in Disney's Star Tours–The Adventures Continue attraction at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios and in the Star Wars Rebels episodes "Path of the Jedi" and "Shroud of Darkness."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1951
    Age 6
    Oz and his family moved to Montana in 1951.
    More Details Hide Details They eventually settled in Oakland, California. Oz attended Oakland Technical High School and Oakland City College. He worked as an apprentice puppeteer at Children's Fairyland as a teenager with the Vagabond Puppets, a production of the Oakland Recreation Department, where Lettie Connell was his mentor. Oz is known for his work as a puppeteer, performing with Jim Henson's Muppets. His characters have included Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle on The Muppet Show, and Grover, Cookie Monster and Bert on Sesame Street. In addition to performing a variety of characters, Oz has been one of the primary collaborators responsible for the development of the Muppets over the last 30 years. Oz has performed as a Muppet performer in over 75 productions including Labyrinth, video releases, and television specials, as well as countless other public appearances, episodes of Sesame Street, and other Jim Henson series.
  • 1944
    Born
    Born on May 25, 1944.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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