Big Bird puppeteer Caroll Spinney shares heartbreaking story of last conversation with dying fan

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Friday, May 8, 2015
Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer behind Big Bird on "Sesame Street," shared a touching story on Reddit about his encounter with a dying child.

Caroll Spinney has brought smiles and knowledge to children across the globe through his character Big Bird on Sesame Street. But on Thursday, the veteran puppeteer shared a story on how he lifted the spirits of a dying child.

Spinney was hosting a Reddit AMA on Thursday to generate awareness for his new documentary I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story. A Reddit user by the name man_mayo asked Spinney: "What has been your most meaningful interaction with a child during filming? Or maybe from someone who grew up watching you and relayed a poignant story?"

Spinney then responded with a heartbreaking, but touching, story of how he reached out to a terminally ill child while in the character of Big Bird. From Spinney's AMA:

Spinney's story was received with overwhelming praise, with many Reddit users saying his story brought tears to their eyes.

"I just want to say I think it's amazing how much what you do impacts people's lives. This story made me tear up. Sesame Street was a big part of my childhood, thank you for what you do," wrote one Reddit user.

"Wow, in all the years I've been at Reddit, I've never read a post that made me cry. What a special story and thanks for sharing it," wrote another.

Spinney went on to answer other questions regarding topics like Jim Henson, Sesame Street and his acting career. But his story about Big Bird's phone call with the dying child was the highest voted in the thread. Spinney has been the voice of Big Bird and other characters on Sesame Street since 1969.