Because he voiced and operated several of the most beloved Muppets - Cookie Monster, Bert, Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy - puppeteer Frank Oz firmly secured his place in pop culture history behind friend, mentor and Muppet creator Jim Henson. But always looking to branch out creatively, Oz moved into directing, starting with a co-helming effort alongside Henson on "The Dark Crystal" (1982), which led to a second career as a talented and success director of primarily comedies. Though he stayed within the Muppet universe for his second film, "The Muppets Take Manhattan" (1984), Oz branched out on his own to direct two hits, "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986) and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (1988). Meanwhile, he teamed with George Lucas to bring to life the mystical Jedi master, Yoda, for "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "The Return of the Jedi" (1983), creating perhaps one of the most memorable characters within the "Star Wars" universe. After losing friend and collaborator Jim Henson to pneumonia in 1990, Oz nonetheless maintained his legacy by performing his Muppet characters on a variety of television specials, guest appearances and throughout the long run of "Sesame Street" (PBS, 1969- ). Though he often had cameo roles in several John Landis like "The Blues Brothers" (1980) and "Trading Places" (1983), Oz preferred staying behind the cameras to direct eclectic fare like the Hollywood satire "Bowfinger" (1999), the heist thriller "The Score" (2001) and the black comedy, "Death at a Funeral" (2007), underscoring his unique ability to wear many hats.