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Frank Oz

Frank OzAKA Richard Frank Oznowicz

Born: 25-May-1944
Birthplace: Hereford, England

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Film Director

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Yoda, Miss Piggy, and The Stepford Wives

Frank Oz is a puppeteer and motion picture director. He created many of the voices and operated "Muppets" for Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, and he has directed movies such as Little Shop of Horrors and The Stepford Wives. He was born to puppeteer parents in England, who emigrated to the United States when he was five years old. Oz played with puppets from a very early age, started staging his own puppet shows at 12, and was an accomplished amateur puppeteer by high school.

Jim Henson met Oz at a California convention of puppeteers, and hired Oz in 1963. They worked together for decades. Oz performed an early version of the Cookie Monster for Our Place, a children's show that aired on CBS in 1967, and Henson, Oz, and the Muppets became cornerstones of Western culture with the debut of Sesame Street in 1969, followed by The Muppet Show and later a series of Muppet movies. Oz's Muppet characters include Bert, Grover, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, the Cookie Monster, Sam the Eagle, Swedish Chef, and most famously, Yoda, the oracle of wisdom in the Star Wars movies. Producer George Lucas gave Oz a great deal of leeway in designing Yoda's appearance, and the character's reversed grammar was Oz's idea.

In 1982, Henson and Oz co-directed The Dark Crystal, a fantasy told through puppetry. Oz alone directed The Muppets Take Manhattan, and later Little Shop of Horrors, where more than two dozen puppeteers operated an enormous man-eating plant-puppet. But Little Shop was mostly a live-action film, and its success made Oz a bankable Hollywood director, puppets or no puppets. As a director, Oz's credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, What About Bob?, HouseSitter, In & Out, Bowfinger, and The Stepford Wives. Oz has also appeared in cameo roles in several films. He's the corrections officer who hands John Belushi his possessions as he's discharged from Joliet Prison in The Blues Brothers, and he's the cop who takes Dan Aykroyd's stuff when he's jailed in Trading Places.

Father: Isidore Oznowicz (puppeteer)
Mother: Frances Oznowicz (puppeteer)
Wife: Robin Garsen (m. 12-Dec-1979, two children)

    University: Journalism, Oakland City College

    Phi Alpha Tau Honorary

    FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
    Death at a Funeral (10-Feb-2007)
    The Stepford Wives (6-Jun-2004)
    The Score (9-Jul-2001)
    Bowfinger (13-Aug-1999)
    In & Out (10-Sep-1997)
    The Indian in the Cupboard (14-Jul-1995)
    HouseSitter (12-Jun-1992)
    What About Bob? (17-May-1991)
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (14-Dec-1988)
    Little Shop of Horrors (19-Dec-1986)
    The Muppets Take Manhattan (13-Jul-1984)
    The Dark Crystal (17-Dec-1982)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (23-Jan-2011) · Himself
    Zathura: A Space Adventure (8-Nov-2005) [VOICE]
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (18-May-2005) [VOICE]
    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (16-May-2002) [VOICE]
    Monsters, Inc. (28-Oct-2001) [VOICE]
    The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (16-Sep-1999) [VOICE]
    Muppets From Space (14-Jul-1999) · Miss Piggy [VOICE]
    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (19-May-1999) [VOICE]
    Blues Brothers 2000 (6-Feb-1998) · Warden
    Muppet Treasure Island (16-Feb-1996) · Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle [VOICE]
    The Muppet Christmas Carol (10-Dec-1992) [VOICE]
    Innocent Blood (25-Sep-1992)
    A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) [VOICE]
    Labyrinth (27-Jun-1986) · The Wiseman
    Spies Like Us (6-Dec-1985)
    Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird (2-Aug-1985) · Cookie Monster [VOICE]
    The Muppets Take Manhattan (13-Jul-1984) · Miss Piggy, etc. [VOICE]
    Trading Places (8-Jun-1983) · Corrupt Cop
    Return of the Jedi (25-May-1983) [VOICE]
    The Dark Crystal (17-Dec-1982) · Chamberlain
    An American Werewolf in London (21-Aug-1981) · Mr. Collins
    The Great Muppet Caper (26-Jun-1981) [VOICE]
    The Blues Brothers (16-Jun-1980) · Corrections Officer
    The Empire Strikes Back (21-May-1980) · Yoda [VOICE]
    The Muppet Movie (22-Jun-1979) [VOICE]
    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977) [VOICE]


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