For over four decades, Emmy winner Caroll Spinney provided the voice and movement for one of the most beloved and recognizable figures in public and children's television: the affable, unflappable Big Bird on "Sesame Street" (PBS, 1969- ). Spinney also played Oscar the Grouch, the trashcan-dwelling misanthrope who was easily Big Bird's diametric opposite on the show. Spinney worked his way up from live puppeteering and local programming to join Jim Henson on the groundbreaking educational series; once there, he transformed Big Bird from a hapless bungler into a gentle guide for young viewers through the complexities of childhood and the adult world. In doing so, the character came to embody not only the hopes and goals of "Sesame Street" itself - to prepare children academically and emotionally for both school and life - but public television as a whole, which frequently used Big Bird as the symbol of its benevolent mission of education and enrichment. Big Bird and Oscar took Spinney across the country and around the globe for various features and television specials, earning him several lifetime achievement awards for his warm and often witty performances. However, no critical acclaim could compare to the love and recognition he received every time he donned the eight-foot yellow suit and became a childhood hero.