Blue plaque to Muppets creator Jim Henson attached to former Hampstead home

English Heritage is up

Tuesday, 7th September 2021 — By Richard Osley

Blue plaque muppets

The new plaque in Downshire Hill [English Heritage]

HIS instantly recognisable characters – a frog, a pig, and a…well what is Gonzo? – has charmed generations of fans and left an enduring claim to be history’s greatest puppeteer.

So a judging panel could hardly refuse the idea of erecting a plaque to mark the former home of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

Jim Henson in Downshire Hill [The Jim Henson Company]

And after securing planning permission, English Heritage has now gone ahead and attached one of its famous blue discs to the address in Downshire Hill, Hampstead.

The New Journal revealed the plans for the tribute back in April.

Mr Henson lived at the property from 1979 when he threw a housewarming party that coincided with celebrations marking the success of The Muppet Movie – a first foray for Kermit and co onto the big screen.

A Kermit The Frog fan admires the new plaque [English Heritage]

The Henson Organisation also bought 1b Downshire Hill which became a puppet workshop – some of the magical creatures you see in Labyrinth, the fantasy movie starring David Bowie as The Goblin King, were made there.

Mr Henson, who died in 1990, split his time between New York and London. He had also lived at 12 Frognal Gardens in the 1970s.

“Henson evidently liked Hampstead – as a lousy cook, he was a great frequenter of restaurants locally,” English Heritage’s application said.

“Henson also spent time with friends and colleagues walking and picnicking on Hampstead Heath – the local rabbit population is said to have inspired the hand-puppet special The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic.” 


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