1/–/1979 – ‘Stay in Lynsey De Paul house in Holly Village.’

During the first years of The Muppet Show tapings, before he bought his house on Downshire Hill in Hampstead in May 1979, Jim stayed in various hotels, rented apartments and homes in London. For season one, Jim stayed at two different addresses in Kensington – Harley Gardens and Claybon Mews. For the second season, Jim rented #12 Frognal Gardens in Camden, perhaps charmed by the location’s name. And for the first half of the third season, home was a hotel — the Holiday Inn Swiss Cottage near Regents Park.

That summer, Jim shot The Muppet Movie which included a small role for James Coburn, and that may have been how Jim met the owner of his next residence, Lynsey de Paul, then Coburn’s girlfriend. A singer/songwriter, Lynsey de Paul was a popular fixture on the entertainment scene on both sides of the Atlantic — so if not through Coburn, Jim may very well have met her socially. Jim stayed in a small house on the property that Lisa Henson, who visited Jim there with her mother Jane, remembered as being a small guest cottage in the garden that felt more like it was in the country than in the middle of London. At that point, Jim began to look seriously for a permanent address and started negotiations on a house on Church Row near Frognal Gardens. Within months, he purchased his home on Downshire Hill. The location near the Hampstead Heath was ideal for long, contemplative walks, and Jim eventually took over an old postal building across the street to house his Creature Shop where it remained until its relocation to Camden Town in 1992.

See information about Jim Henson’s London neighborhood and get a downloadable walking tour.

A picnic on the Hampstead Heath, mid-1980s. (Jim is in the middle.)

Photocopied guide to London provided to The Muppet Show guest stars by the production team, 1976.

Topics: 01-January '79, 1979, Muppet Show | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

1/–/1982 – ‘ACC shakeup- Lew Grade sells out to Robert Holmes a Court- I meet with Robert on Jan. 17.’

Topics: 01-January '82, 1982 | Tagged , ,

1/5/1983 – ‘In Aspen until Jan 5 with family.’

Topics: 01-January '83, 1983, Family | Tagged

1/1/1968 – ‘Jerry Juhl leaves us.’

When Jim wrote in his journal in 1968 that Jerry Juhl left, it referred to Jerry’s move back to his native California with his wife Susan. Having come east in 1960 to work with Jim and Jane, Jerry was instrumental in helping Jim develop his characters and give them a consistent voice. In Washington, DC and then in New York starting in 1963, Jerry worked with Jim, performing at first and then focusing on scripts. Jerry’s writing for Rowlf and Kermit during those years helped Jim enrich their personalities and give them depth. Jerry also partnered on Jim’s work for IBM and other advertisers and played a supporting role in Jim’s experimental film work. They wrote exploratory scripts together for dramas like their unproduced feature film, Tale of Sand, and their surreal dramatic comedy The Cube. Their development work on The Great Santa Claus Switch went on for about six years before it was produced for television in 1970.

So, when Jerry “left” Muppets Incorporated (in the midst of changing its name to Henson Associates), it was really just the beginning of his most important work with Jim. Along with producing The Cube and Santa Claus Switch, they were about to start Sesame Street. And Jerry went on to become head writer for The Muppet Show (this meant many months over five years of living in London), writer of Muppet feature films, creator and head writer of Fraggle Rock (requiring temporary residence in Toronto), and work on numerous other projects on both sides of the Atlantic. But after 1968, home was always Northern California, and that was where Jerry returned to or dialed in from for almost forty years.

Learn more about Jerry’s early days with Jim.

Learn more about Jerry’s ahead-of-its-time telecommuting.

Jerry Juhl and Rowlf, mid-1960s.

Susan and Jerry Juhl (left) in Toronto with Fraggle producer Larry Mirkin and writer Jocelyn Stevenson, mid-1980s. Photo courtesy of Larry Mirkin.

Topics: 01-January '68, 1968 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

12/30/1981 – ‘Return to NY.’

Topics: 12-December '81, 1981 | Tagged