Jerry Nelson, a master of voices and puppetering who voiced Muppets including Count von Count during more than 40 years with "Sesame Street," has died. He was 78.
Also a musician and actor, he took part in dozens of Muppet projects, from the 1971 TV movie "Tales From Muppetland: The Frog Prince," to 1979's "The Muppet Movie," to the 1980s series "Fraggle Rock," to last year's "The Muppets."
Nelson joined "Sesame Street," which debuted in 1969, early in the show's run. He soon took on major characters including The Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Sherlock Hemlock.
"The cast and crew of 'Sesame Street' and the staff of Sesame Workshop deeply mourn the loss of cast member and creator of dozens of Muppet characters, Jerry Nelson," said a message on Sesame Street's website.
"A member of the 'Sesame Street' family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters. We will miss his extraordinary spirit and the joy he brought to our Street."
Nelson also had small, decidedly un-Muppety roles in films including "Robocop 2" and "The Nail Gun Massacre."
Watch some vintage counting: