Best known as the creator of The Muppets, Jim Henson has been honored with a blue plaque by English Heritage marking and honoring his former home in London, England.
- Muppets Creator Jim Henson has been honored with an iconic Blue Plaque at his former home in London, England by English Heritage.
- English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments, and sites, bringing the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. London’s blue plaques scheme, run by English Heritage, celebrates the links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked. Founded in 1866, it has inspired many similar schemes in the UK and around the world. To be awarded an official English Heritage plaque, the proposed recipient must have died at least 20 years ago. This is to help ensure that the decision about whether or not to shortlist a candidate is made with a sufficient degree of hindsight.
- However, plaques are as much about the buildings in which people lived and worked as about the subjects being commemorated – the intrinsic aim of English Heritage blue plaques is to celebrate the relationship between people and place. For this reason, the group only erects a plaque if there is a surviving building closely associated with the person in question.
- Henson’s blue plaque marks 50 Downshire Hill in Hampstead, where he lived from 1979 until 1982 and used as a base until his death. The property lies opposite the former Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, where the creatures of Henson’s many fantasy classics including The Dark Crystal, The Storyteller and Labyrinth were created.
- Henson used 50 Downshire Hill to host meetings as well as for his family life. He also spent time with friends and colleagues walking and picnicking on Hampstead Heath – the local rabbit population is said to have inspired the hand-puppet special, The Tale of Bunny Picnic (1986). There he erected a bench to the memory of his late friend Don Sahlin, and Henson’s own name was added in 1990.
- The plaque is made of ceramic materials, is inscribed“JIM HENSON 1936-1990 Creator of The Muppets lived here” and can be found at 50 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London, NW3 1PA, London Borough of Camden.