John Henson
John Paul Henson

(1965-04-25)April 25, 1965
DiedFebruary 14, 2014(2014-02-14) (aged 48)
Years active1990–2005
Gyongyi Henson
(m. 2007)
Parent(s)Jim Henson
Jane Henson
RelativesLisa Henson (sister)
Cheryl Henson (sister)
Brian Henson (brother)
Heather Henson (sister)

John Paul Henson (April 25, 1965 – February 14, 2014) was an American puppeteer, best known for his association with the Muppets.

Early years

Henson was the son of puppeteer Jim Henson (1936–1990), best known as the creator of the Muppets, and Jane Henson (1934–2013), who assisted in the launch of the Muppets. He had four siblings: Lisa (born 1960), Cheryl (born 1961), Brian (born 1963) and Heather (born 1970).


Henson performed Muppet character Sweetums starting in 1992 following the death of Richard Hunt (who had trained Henson to perform the character). The role has since been passed to different puppeteers, including David Rudman, Noel MacNeal, Rob Mills and Matt Vogel, who officially assumed the role in 2009.

In addition to his work with the Jim Henson Company, Henson produced independent films and worked as a production designer, animator, writer, wood worker, artist and builder. Zelda Catwoman of Queens, a short film that he cowrote and produced with longtime collaborator and childhood friend filmmaker Alex Halpern, won the student Academy Award in the experimental division, just prior to his father's death in 1990.


On February 14, 2014, at the age of 48, Henson died at his home in Saugerties, New York following a heart attack. His family conducted a private funeral. He was cremated and his ashes were given to his family.[2][3]



Year Title Role
1993–1994 CityKids
1996–1998 Muppets Tonight Sweetums


Year Title Role
1990 Zelda, Catwoman of Queens Producer and cowriter
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Sweetums
1999 Muppets from Space
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Sweetums as a flying monkey; final role

Video games

Year Title Role
2003 Muppets Party Cruise Sweetums


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Muppet*Vision 3D Sweetums In-suit performer
2001 The Muppet Show Live


  1. ^ "Jim Henson's Son, John, Dies At Age 48". The Hollywood Reporter. February 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Deerwester, Jayme (February 15, 2014). "Muppets' John Henson dies at 48". USA Today.
  3. ^ Botelho, Craig (February 18, 2014). "John Henson -- son of the iconic Jim Henson -- dies of heart attack at 48". CNN. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
Preceded byRichard Hunt Performer of Sweetums 1991, 1993–2005 Succeeded byNoel MacNeal