SESAME STREET’S CAROLL SPINNEY, ALTER EGO OF BIG BIRD AND OSCAR TO RECEIVE NATIONAL TELEVISION ACADEMY’S LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

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 SESAME STREET’S CAROLL SPINNEY,
ALTER EGO OF BIG BIRD AND OSCAR
TO RECEIVE NATIONAL TELEVISION ACADEMY’S 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

New York – January 19, 2006 – The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced today that Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who plays the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, will be the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards. Spinney was chosen for his work entertaining and educating children for nearly four decades, since the series debut in 1969. 

Spinney, a puppeteer since the age of eight, turned an eight-foot, two-inch tall bird and a crabby trash can dwelling grouch into world-renowned cultural icons. His characters have been seen on more than 4,000 episodes, as well as Sesame Street television specials that have taken Spinney to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Spinney starred in the feature film Follow That Bird and has performed on a number of other shows, including The West Wing and Hollywood Squares. His work has garnered him four Emmy Awards. Spinney’s book, The Wisdom of Big Bird chronicles his experiences portraying the famous characters.

“Caroll Spinney has distinguished himself in entertaining and inspiring generations of children worldwide in his dual roles as the sweet and compassionate Big Bird and the distinctively different Oscar the Grouch,” said Peter Price, President, National Television Academy. “The Academy is proud to honor the man who has dedicated his career to creating and sustaining for four decades two of the most-loved and respected children’s television characters.”

“I am elated and amazed to receive this honor from those who are committed to the best of what television and media have to offer, for doing what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Spinney.

Spinney will accept the award during the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony on Friday, April 28, (8:00-11:00 PM, ET) broadcast live on ABC from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. This will mark the first time the Daytime Emmy Awards will be broadcast from Hollywood in the 33-year history of the Awards ceremonies.

Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in children’s lives around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary “Sesame Street.” Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award-winning programs like Dragon Tales, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat, Pinky Dinky Doo and ground breaking multimedia productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of Sesame Street, Dragon Tales, Sagwa, and Pinky products right back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at www.sesameworkshop.org.

The National Television Academy is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy Award for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime, Creative Arts, Public & Community Service, Technology & Engineering/Advanced Media and Business & Financial Reporting. Excellence in Primetime programming and international programming is recognized by its affiliate, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Regional Emmys are given in 19 regions across the United States. Beyond awards, the National Academy has extensive educational programs including National Student Television and its Student Award for Excellence for outstanding journalistic work by high school students, as well as scholarships, publications, and major activities for both industry professionals and the viewing public. For more information, please visit the website at www.emmyonline.tv