Frank Oz Celebrity Watchlist

Fast Facts

  • Parents were refugees from the Holocaust and were both puppeteers.
  • Met Muppets creator Jim Henson at age 17 at the Puppeteers of America convention. Oz's father was the president of the association at the time.
  • Began working with Henson at age 19.
  • Stage name "Oz" acquired on the Jimmy Dean Show. Dean apparently couldn't say his real name and uttered "Oz" during a live broadcast. The name stuck.
  • Worked on Saturday Night Live in its debut season with Henson and the rest of the Muppet staff. They were dropped after that inaugural season because the rest of the actors thought the puppets were taking time away from their sketches.
  • Developed the unusual backwards speech pattern made famous by his Star Wars character, Yoda.
  • Was described by Henson as "probably the person most responsible for the Muppets being funny."


  • 1981, Emmy — Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program: Nominee
  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Winner
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Comedy - Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Nominee


  • Isidore Oznowicz — Father
  • Robin Garsen — Wife
  • Frances Oznowicz — Mother


  • Attended Oakland City College, Oakland, CA; attended City University of New York, City College, New York, NY

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  • Birth Name: Richard Frank Oznowicz
  • Birth Place: Hereford, Herefordshire, England
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Puppeteer

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