Frank Oz biography

Frank Oz

Birth Name: Frank Oznowicz

Date of Birth: May 25, 1944

Frank Oz was born in Hereford, England. The son of Isidore and Frances Oznowicz, Oz was raised in Belgium until he was five years old. The family then immigrated to the United States and settled in Oakland, California where Oz grew up with his brother Ronald and sister Jenny.

From ages 11 to 18, Oz performed puppet shows in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1961, he was introduced to Jim and Jane Henson at a puppeteers' convention. Henson wanted to hire him on the spot, but Oz had to finish high school first.

Two years later, Henson asked 19-year-old Oz to join the TV show The Muppets, which would turn out to be a historic collaboration. One of his first jobs was to operate the right hand of the Muppet Rowlf the Dog, while Henson operated the head, the left arm and did the voice. He now performs the ever glamorous Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle and Animal.

In 1969, he began puppeteering on the famed children's television series Sesame Street. Among the many characters he brought to life, he is best known for Bert, Cookie Monster and Grover.

Movies to which Oz has lent his voice include The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. He also performs Yoda in Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace and the other Star Wars movies.

As an actor, Oz has appeared in The Blues Brothers, The Blues Brothers 2000, Innocent Blood, Spies Like Us, Trading Places and An American Werewolf in London.

In 1986, Oz directed his first movie, Little Shop of Horrors. Since then, he has directed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, What About Bob?, Housesitter, Indian in the Cupboard, In & Out, Bowfinger, The Score and The Stepford Wives.

Over the course of his career, he has received two Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, an American Comedy Creative Achievement Award and three gold and two platinum records. In 2002, he won an Art Directors Guild award for Contribution to Cinematic Imagery.

Oz lives in Connecticut with his wife, Robin, an illustrator, with whom he shares two children.

Frank Oz Filmography

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Frank Oz Photo