Kevin Clash
puppeteer and voice actor
Kevin Clash
Kevin Clash is an American puppeteer and voice actor whose characters include Elmo, Baby Sinclair, Clifford, Splinter and Hoots the Owl. He currently serves as Sesame Street Muppet Captain and co-executive producer. In the fall of 2006, Clash released an autobiography titled My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud. He is the subject of the 2011 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.
Biography
Kevin Clash's personal information overview.
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News
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If Jagger or McCartney Hadn't <em>Made It</em>, Would They Be Playing in a Cover Band?
Huffington Post - over 2 years
Sting was a school teacher. Jagger studied economics. Gene simmons taught public school as well. Rod Stewart was well on his way to becoming a pro soccer player until a knee injury ended his career. Paul McCartney always played music. But, what if they hadn't made it? What if George Martin received --in what he, himself, said was "The final option"- - yet another in a long string of rejections from EMI? Would The Beatles have broken up? If The Stones never got a record deal, would we be seeing a well-groomed and bespectacled "Micheal P. Jagger" -- financial author/correspondent for CNN's Money? If they hadn't gotten their deals when they did, how long would they have stuck at it? A year? Ten years? Would any of these guys still be playing music or would they be living in the suburbs with five kids and a mortgage? Your guess is as good as mine. But, odds are, if they were still at it, they'd be doing so in cover bands; as that's where old musicians go to die. Or, so I used to t ...
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Huffington Post article
'South Park' Introduces Newest Holiday Sensation: 'Stop Touching Me, Elmo' (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - over 3 years
It was a mash-up of "Game of Thrones" and Black Friday on "South Park." But while the kids were taking sides over the next generation of gaming console -- XBox One vs. PlayStation 4 -- it was the release of a new Elmo doll that sent residents over the top. “Just in time for the holidays, it’s ‘Stop Touching Me Elmo!’ When you press his back, Elmo puts his hand on your knee and says fun things," The commercial for the new doll explained. Elmo said things like, "Have you ever been tickled on the inside?" and, "I’m lonely, are you lonely?" and, "Can I watch you go potty?" and even, "You wanna kiss the guy who does Elmo’s voice?” “Stop touching me, Elmo!” a kid said in response to his awkward advances. The AV Club's Ryan McGee lied the episode over all, but wasn't impressed with the Elmo gag. "The ‘Stop Touching Me, Elmo!’ doll is both outdated and too crass by half, and while it drove the plot, any fictional doll could have sparked the same riot and still hinted to the real source of ...
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Huffington Post article
'Elmo' voice actor suits dismissed
CNN - over 3 years
Three lawsuits filed against former Sesame Street "Elmo" voice actor Kevin Clash have been dismissed, a clerk with Manhattan District court said Monday.
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CNN article
3 NY lawsuits against ex-Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash tossed out; Lawyer says ... - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 3 years
Philly.com 3 NY lawsuits against ex-Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash tossed out; Lawyer says ... Minneapolis Star Tribune NEW YORK — Three lawsuits brought by men who said former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage were tossed out by a judge who said in a decision published Monday that the men waited too long to sue. Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash: Judge Tosses Out Three Sexual-Abuse LawsuitsE! Online Judge Tosses 3 NY Lawsuits Against Ex-Elmo Actor Kevin ClashAfro American Judge tosses three lawsuits against Elmo puppeteeramNY San Jose Mercury News -Los Angeles Times all 214 news articles »
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Google News article
Judge rejects sex abuse suits against Elmo puppeteer
Chicago Times - over 3 years
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York federal judge on Monday tossed out three child sex abuse lawsuits against Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who gave Sesame Street's beloved Elmo character his voice.     
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Chicago Times article
Judge throws out three lawsuits against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash
LATimes - over 3 years
A federal judge in Manhattan dismissed three sexual abuse lawsuits brought against former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash on Monday, saying the men had exceeded a six-year statute of limitations in filing their complaints.
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LATimes article
Kevin Clash - BIG VICTORY FOR ELMO in Child Molestation Cases (TMZ.com)
Wesmirch.com - over 3 years
TMZ.com: Kevin Clash — BIG VICTORY FOR ELMO in Child Molestation Cases  —  HUGE VICTORY FOR ELMO  —  in Child Molestation Cases  —  BREAKING NEWS  —  Pay attention kids, 'cause today's lesson — YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE.  —  TMZ has learned ... Kevin Clash — who famously voiced Elmo …
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Wesmirch.com article
Ex-Elmo puppeteer in alleged sex abuse scandal wins 3 Daytime Emmy awards
Fox News - over 3 years
Kevin Clash, the Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid allegations that he sexually abused underage boys, won three Daytime Emmy Awards for his work on "Sesame Street."
Article Link:
Fox News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kevin Clash
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 53
    Months after the other alleged victims made legal accusations, Stephens filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania against Clash, but the case ultimately was dismissed in June 2014 because the statute of limitations had ended.
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  • 2013
    Age 52
    In July 2013, the three cases against Clash were dismissed because the claims were made more than six years after each man reasonably should have become aware of Clash's alleged violations during the three years after each turned 21. Clash's lawyers expressed his hope that the ruling would allow him to restore his personal and professional life. Lawyers for the plaintiffs appealed the ruling, alleging that the psychological effects of the abuse weren't fully realized until 2012.
    More Details Hide Details In April 2014, the decision to dismiss the three lawsuits was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • 2012
    Age 51
    In November 2012, Clash came out publicly as gay in response to the allegations that led to his resignation from the Sesame Workshop, stating, "I am a gay man.
    More Details Hide Details I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter." Clash is African American and has stated that although children ignore him and speak directly to Elmo, African-American adults tend to be surprised when they meet him. He has stated in interviews that his racial identity was pertinent to his work, and that it came through in his performances.
    Clash resigned from Sesame Workshop on November 20, 2012, and released a statement saying, "Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work 'Sesame Street' is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer.
    More Details Hide Details I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately." Sesame Workshop also released a statement: "Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin's personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from 'Sesame Street.'" They stated that other puppeteers had been trained to serve as Clash's understudy and would take over his roles on the show.
    In November 2012, 23-year-old Sheldon Stephens alleged that he had been in a sexual relationship with Clash which began when Stephens was 16.
    More Details Hide Details Sesame Workshop had initially been presented with the allegation in June, and its investigation found the allegation to be unsubstantiated. Clash acknowledged that he had been in a relationship with the accuser; however, he characterized the relationship as being between consenting adults. Stephens later recanted his accusation, but two weeks later, another accuser, Cecil Singleton, made similar accusations and lawsuits were filed by attorney Jeffrey Herman against Clash.
    He resigned from Sesame Street in late 2012, after allegations of sexual impropriety, which he denied and were dismissed due to statute of limitations expiring.
    More Details Hide Details Clash wrote an autobiography, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, which was published in 2006, and also featured in the 2011 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.
  • 2011
    Age 50
    His life was featured in the 2011 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2006
    Age 45
    In 2006, Clash published his autobiography, co-written by Gary Brozek and Louis Henry Mitchell, entitled My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1999
    Age 38
    In 1999, Clash worked on a film starring Elmo, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.
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  • 1993
    Age 32
    Clash was married for 17 years, and has a daughter who was born in 1993.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1990
    Age 29
    Clash worked on the first film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was dedicated to Henson, in 1990, voicing Master Splinter.
    More Details Hide Details He performed in several productions with Jim Henson Productions, including as the Muppet Clifford in The Jim Henson Hour (1989), and performing the puppetry for Frank Oz's characters (Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, and Animal) in Muppet Treasure Island (1996). Clash performed in the films Muppets from Space (1999) and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005), and the TV series Muppets Tonight (1996—1998), in which he reprised Clifford, who served as the show's host. He performed characters and worked behind the scenes on the sitcom Dinosaurs.
  • 1985
    Age 24
    He worked on the 1985 feature film Follow That Bird.
    More Details Hide Details In 2007, he was promoted to senior creative adviser for the Sesame Workshop. Until 2011, he was the sole performer as Elmo in all his public relations appearances, making his schedule, as he called it, "crazy". Cheryl Henson, president of the Jim Henson Foundation, called him "essential" to the show.
    After 1985, Elmo, a furry red monster, became his main character.
    More Details Hide Details Four puppeteers, including Richard Hunt, had performed Elmo previously, but it was Clash's development, with a falsetto voice, that established the character. He based Elmo's character on the preschool children that attended his mother's daycare in Baltimore and upon his own personality and the personality of his parents. Clash followed the advice of fellow puppeteer Frank Oz, who told Clash to always "find one special hook" for each character. Clash decided that the central characteristic for Elmo should be that he "should represent love". After the height of Elmo's popularity, especially the "Tickle Me Elmo" craze in 1996, Clash's responsibilities at Sesame Street increased. He recruited, auditioned, and trained its puppeteers, and became the senior Muppet coordinator, a writer, director, and co-producer of the "Elmo's World" segment of the show. Clash worked with and mentored the puppeteers of Sesame Street's international co-productions. He found working with the co-productions "a lot of fun" and "very rewarding".
  • 1984
    Age 23
    Captain Kangaroo was cancelled in 1984 after 29 seasons, and Great Space Coaster ended, freeing up Clash to work on projects with Henson such as the film Labyrinth and Sesame Street.
    More Details Hide Details Clash started working at Sesame Street for ten episodes in 1983, mostly performing nondescript, stand-in puppets known as Anything Muppets. Some of his earliest characters included the saxophone-playing Hoots the Owl (based on Louis Armstrong), the infant Baby Natasha, and inventor Dr. Nobel Price.
    In 1984, Clash had to turn down Henson's offer to work on his film The Dark Crystal because he was working on two TV shows at the same time, Captain Kangaroo and Love's syndicated program The Great Space Coaster, in which he was producer for the first time.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1979
    Age 18
    In 1979, on Love's recommendation, Clash appeared as Cookie Monster in the Sesame Street float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and met Jim Henson, who later became his boss, mentor, and friend.
    More Details Hide Details When he was nineteen, Clash became a puppeteer for Captain Kangaroo, initially as a guest performer, in which he also made occasional on-camera appearances. The producers of Captain Kangaroo used some of Clash's puppet creations for the show.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1960
    Born
    Kevin Clash was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 17, 1960, the third of four children born to George Clash, a flash welder and handyman, and Gladys Clash, who ran a small daycare center in their two-bedroom, one-bath home in the Turner Station of Dundalk, Maryland.
    More Details Hide Details Clash developed an interest in puppetry at an early age, inspired by children's shows like Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Sesame Street. He made his first puppet, a version of Mickey Mouse, at the age of 10. When he was twelve, he created a monkey puppet out of the lining of his father's coat. His first performances were for his mother's daycare children. By the time he was a teenager, he had built almost 90 puppets, which he based upon commercials, popular music, and his friends. While still in high school, Clash performed at venues throughout Baltimore, including schools, churches, fundraisers, and community events. While appearing at a neighborhood festival, Clash was discovered by Baltimore television personality Stu Kerr, who became Clash's first mentor and hired him to perform in the children's show Caboose at Channel 2. Clash also built puppets for the Romper Room franchise. When he was 17, he contacted and met puppeteer Kermit Love, who became Clash's mentor, after seeing Love featured in an episode of the documentary Call It Macaroni.
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