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Fran Brill

Fran Brill (b. September 30, 1946) is an actress and puppeteer who worked on Sesame Street beginning in 1970. She was the first female puppeteer hired by Jim Henson, outside of wife Jane Henson. She is best known for performing Prairie Dawn and Zoe. Brill retired from performing in September 2014. A native of Pennsylvania, Brill began her performing career in community theater, and in 1968, while in Atlanta, she joined the cast of the playRed, White and Maddox, which ridiculed segregationist governor Lester Maddox. The show proved somewhat controversial due to its political subject matter, but transferred to Broadway in 1969, and Brill moved to New York City to join her fellow cast members, who included a youngChristopher Lloyd. The show closed in less than three months, after only 41 performances. Out of a job, Brill was seeking work as a voice-over actress and in radio commercials, when she answered an ad from Muppets Inc., auditioning performers for what she initially assumed was a voice-over assignment. As the puppeteer recalled, "In those days, 1970, it was a small operation and if you called, you could get Jim directly on the phone.... They were training people to do a Christmas special for The Ed Sullivan Show." The special aired as The Great Santa Claus Switch, and after a two week puppetry workshop with Henson, she was subsequently asked to join Sesame Street.

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Sep 30, 1946 In Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Sesame Unpaved 1969-11-10
Latest Project:
Movie Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street 2021-04-23
Known For
Poster of Sesame Street: Zoe's Dance Moves
Poster of My Little Pony
Poster of Being There
Poster of Sesame Street
Movie Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street Self 2021-04-23
Movie Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration! 2019-11-09
Movie Tully Zoe 2018-05-04
Movie Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched Herself 2017-03-12
Movie Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey Herself 2011-10-21
Movie Sesame Street: Elmo's Music Magic 2011-09-06
Movie Jim Henson: His Sesame Street Story 2009-12-12
Movie Sesame Street: Elmo's Christmas Countdown Prairie Dawn / Zoe (voice) 2007-12-23
Movie Sesame Street: Elmo's Potty Time Prairie Dawn (voice) 2006-08-22
Movie Sesame Street: Zoe's Dance Moves Zoe 2003-01-01
Movie Sesame Street: Sesame Sings Karaoke Zoe 2003-08-05
Series Play with Me Sesame Prairie Dawn 2002-04-01
Series Sheep in the Big City Little Girl 2000-11-17
Movie The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland Zoe / Pestie / Prairie Dawn (voice) 1999-10-01
Movie Sesame Street: Elmopalooza Zoe, Prairie Dawn, Roxie Marie 1998-02-20
Movie Sesame Street: Fiesta! Betty Lou / Zoe (voice) 1997-12-01
Movie Sesame Street: Do the Alphabet Zoe (voice) 1996-02-06
Movie The World of Jim Henson Herself (archive footage) 1994-11-23
Movie Muppet Sing Alongs: It's Not Easy Being Green Clam / Frog (voice) (archive footage) 1994-02-18
Series Dog City 1992-09-26
Movie What About Bob? Lily Marvin 1991-05-17
Series Doug Emily Kristal (voice) 1991-08-11
Movie The Tale of Peter Rabbit Bluejay / Sparrow (voice) 1991-06-11
Movie Dog City: The Movie Colleen Barker (voice) 1989-01-01
Series The Jim Henson Hour 1989-04-14
Movie Midnight Run Dana Mardukas 1988-07-20
Series My Little Pony 1986-09-15
Movie The Muppets Take Manhattan Additional Muppet Performer / News Reporter 1984-06-27
Movie Old Enough Mrs. Sloan 1984-08-24
Movie Amber Waves Suze Winter 1980-03-09
Movie Being There Sally Hayes 1979-12-19
Movie The Great Santa Claus Switch Snerf (voice) 1970-12-05
Series Sesame Unpaved 1969-11-10
Series Sesame Street 1969-11-10