Happy Birthday Frank Oz: A Wild & Varied Career

Happy Birthday Frank Oz: A Wild & Varied Career

Today is Frank Oz''s birthday, and the director, Jim Henson acolyte, and voice actor has been the voice of Yoda since 1980's The Empire Strikes Back. Oh, and he also voiced Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, and Sam The Eagle. So if you have been a child, or a nerd, anytime in the past 40 years, you grew up with Oz's voice in your head, one way or another. The vocal cords are strong in this one.

Other than voice acting and puppetry, he's also made some of the funniest and varied films of the past few decades. Hit or miss, he has his comical stamp on his cinematic body of work. The Stepford Wives was pretty much awful, but Oz did the best he could with a failing script from Paul Rudnick. You may remember that Rudnick also wrote Marci X, which currently sits at 100 on IMDb's Botton 100 list.

But Oz has made triumphs like What About Bob?, pairing tight-ass Richard Dreyfuss with Bill Murray, the coolest man alive, and the immortal The Dark Crystal, which is second only to Labyrinth as far as female-friendly fantasy films go. It was as if Henson and Oz spent a year smoking pot and looking at Yes album covers and decided to write a movie and make puppets.

He broke barriers with Kevin Kline in 1997's In & Out, which benefited from Ellen DeGeneres' coming-out earlier that year for the world to see. And who could forget 1986's Little Shop Of Horrors, the second film adaptation of the stage musical, featuring Ellen Greene at her sexiest and nerdiest. Feed me, Seymour!

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