Jim Henson was loved by many throughout his career, which included accomplishments like creating the Muppets, and many other colorful characters we’ve all come to know and appreciate. The puppeteer married his wife, Jane Henson, in 1959. Though they were separated upon his tragic death, she continued to carry on his legacy and work in the years that followed.

Who Was Jim Henson’s Wife Jane Henson?

Jim and Jane met in 1954 while they were both taking a puppetry course at the University of Maryland. They began working as collaborators shortly after taking the class, putting their teamwork to the test on Sam and Friends. One year after they met, he debuted his famous Kermit the Frog character on WRC-TV, which would change the course of his life forever.

In May 1959, Jim and Jane got married at her parents house in Salisbury, Maryland. They bought a house in the state before moving to New York in 1963. The bottom floor of their home was dedicated to the creation of puppets.

Did Jim Henson Have Kids?

Jim and Jane welcomed five kids during their marriage: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather. John died in 2014 from a heart attack at age 48. “John had the deepest soul of any man alive; sensitive, artistic and extremely compassionate, there was no limit to his love,” his family said in a statement.

All of the Henson kids are involved in The Jim Henson Company, “a leader in family entertainment for over 60 years and is recognized as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation,” per the company’s website.

Did Jim and Jane Henson Separate?

The couple separated in 1986 but remained dedicated to their collaborations and work up until Jim’s death in 1990. The animator died at age 53 from a massive bacterial infection known as streptococcus pneumonia.

After Jim’s death, Jane continued her work with the Jim Henson Foundation as well as carrying on efforts to add talent to the Muppets organization. She died April 2013 at age 78 after battling cancer.

Jim Henson wife Jane Henson
Nancy R. Schiff/Getty Images

Jane would often speak about how “Jim wanted to leave the world a better place,” per the Jim Henson Company website. And his family and fans believe he did just that.

In May 2024, director Ron Howard released the documentary Jim Henson Idea Man, sharing a look back at the fascinating life and career of the puppeteering juggernaut.

“You just could see that there was nothing to hide,” Ron told The Guardian ahead of the film’s Disney+ release. “He was a really noble guy. He was a really good example of a human being walking the Earth.”