snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Entertainment Archive » Jim Henson died of AIDS?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Jim Henson died of AIDS?
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 06 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Comment: I was recently involved in a conversation where people were claimimg
that Jim Henson, Muppets creator's death was due to complications involving HIV
or AIDS. The claim is that there was a cover up because Jim Henson is the
creator of movies, tv and music intended for children and his sexuality or HIV
status would jepordize his career or the ongoing success of his creations. Jim
Henson may infact have been homosexual (since I did not know him and was never
invited to take part in any of his personal conversations, I would not know)
and it is possible he died of complications due to HIV or AIDS (but I was not
his doctor or in any position to know of his medical condition.) I simply did
not want to jump to believe that; 1. Jim Henson must be gay because I read a
headline stating that while in line at the grocery store, or 2. Jim Henson
died due to complications associated with HIV or AIDS because he is gay and
dead so how else could he have died?

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Inna Gouda Davida
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
When I first heard this rumor several years ago, I went into a five minute rant about how outrageous it was that people would try to ruin the reputation and memory of such a fine man.

After I finally wound down, my wife cut right to the chase when she asked me:

"Why should his dying of complications relating to AIDS have any negative reflection on his character?"

Of course she was right, it's hard to say which is sadder, someone trying to smear such a genius and wonderful, creative human being, or them thinking that calling him a homosexual would be the best way to do that.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
arnold wanker
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Jim Henson died of cancer, which, unless you are a real conspiracy nut, was attested to by his friends and family - and at least five UK and US documentaries - in 1991. He was helping post- production on 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', but his health lapsed considerably.
A person's sexuality cannot dictate their value as a human being - unless you are willing to remain so ignorant as to ignore the fact that homosexuals have consistently been at the forefront of pioneering arts and sciences since Socrates. Henson was not homosexual - his son, Brian Henson maintains the family company to this day, mostly with work based in London.
Whether he indulged in sex with men as well as women, I do not know. I don't think he did, as I have been an avid fan of Henson from the early days of 'Sesame Street' through 'The Dark Crystal' to his 'The Storyteller' TV programs, and have studied the man, as well as his work for years. I also live in Britain - the only country that would help him finance and produce 'The Muppet Show' - a place he made his home.
Were Henson alive today I think he would find this kind of rumour strange, but amusing. I am confused as to why such a rumour would evolve anyway. I could see the satirical purpose of saying this kind of thing about Walt Disney - the man was as unhinged and fascistic as most of Adolph Hitler's cabinet, but I don't know who, unless it was a bitter high-up Disney exec, would say this about a relatively more obscure artist such as Henson.
I'd be more prepared to believe George Lucas had recently turned gay - balmy Frisco nights with him and camp Brit Rick McCallum, I can picture it now (JOKE!!!).
Why this absurd, slight kicking of a man while his dead? Are you paTROLLing us Mr Snopes? Are you testing us, oh master?

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Just John
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 06 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
May I also point out that AIDS does not discriminate according to sexual orientation, gender or age. Having AIDS does not automatically mean that one is homosexual.

Arthur Ashe contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion.

Ryan White was a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS at age 13, apparently from the clotting agents he was taking for his hemophilia.

Many women have contracted AIDS from infected men, and many men have contracted AIDS from infected women. There are countless babies who have contracted AIDS from their mothers.

I know that we are all aware of these facts, but we should remind everyone else.

-----
Just John

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Vorlon Ambassador's Aide
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 22 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Considering the remarkably large number of people who apparently believe that AIDS is a divine punishment for immorality, it's easy to see why a rumored AIDS death would tarnish a reputation in the minds of some.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sheduck
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 06 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by arnold wanker:
Jim Henson died of cancer

Jim Henson died from complications with pneumonia (see here and here ).

The fact that he died from pneumonia may in fact shed some light onto this AIDS rumor. Pneumonia is a very treatable disease, and so to have a man in his 50's succumb to the disease is unheard of. So people might have asked the question: how would an otherwise heathly man die from a treatable and recoverable disease like pneumonia?

Perhaps the rumor that Henson had AIDS came from someone trying to make sense of his death from a treatable disease; he must have had some other immunosuppressant disease, which stopped him from successfully recovering. People who have AIDS are more suseptable to contracting diseases like pneumonia and are more likely to die from pneumonia than the general population. It was the early 90's when Henson died, and AIDS was just beginning to be talked about in public. Perhaps that is how the link was formed between AIDS and Henson's death.

-She"just my two cents"duck

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Vorlon Ambassador's Aide
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 22 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I *believe* that the problem was that Mr. Henson had contracted a highly antibiotic-resistant form of pneumonia. When his condition worsened, the initial treatments were unable to help.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Horatio
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 87 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
There appears to be no reason to think that Henson was gay.
1) There is no evidence (no lovers have come forward) coupled with the fact that there is evidence of his heterosexuality (wife, son)
2) He did not have AIDS, he had pneumonia

I heard the story that he knew he was near his last breath when blood began to come out of his mouth. He knew he was shuffling off "this mortal coil."

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sparverius, Dragon of Eden
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 16 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Horatio:
I heard the story that he knew he was near his last breath when blood began to come out of his mouth. He knew he was shuffling off "this mortal coil."

Yeah, that would be pretty high on the hint scale.

--------------------
Sparverius

"I don't want to worry you by using words like 'pneumonia' ...." - my doctor, trying to be helpful

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Tootsie Plunkette   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My recollection is that he knew he was sick, but thought it was the flu. Henson was a workaholic, and, like many men, didn't like to admit he was feeling sick. By the time he checked himself into the hospital, it was too late. A friend of mine had lost her husband several years before, under practically identical circumstances. Henson's death brought it all back to her.

(Smiley = Swedish Chef)

--------------------
--Tootsie

Posts: 5017 | From: Greater Seattle | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
kjbrasda
Happy Holly Days


Icon 01 posted      Profile for kjbrasda   Author's Homepage   E-mail kjbrasda   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
this might have contributed to the confusion/rumor

quote:
Richard Hunt, a puppeteer known for his work on the “Muppet Show,” died on Tuesday at Cabrini Hospice in Manhattan. He was 40 years old.

He died of H.I.V. complications, his family said.

edit to add:

What Henson died from was an infection of a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus (or Streptococcus pyogenes), which caused his pneumonia.

http://www.angelfire.com/me3/muppets/HensonInfection.html

http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbstrepa.htm

quote:
Certain strains of group A bacteria can lead to several forms of invasive disease, including pneumonia, meningitis, infection of the bone and an illness resembling toxic shock syndrome.
(emphasis mine)

http://www.ha.org.hk/qmh/micro/strept.htm

quote:
Streptococcus pyogenes is responsible for a number of different diseases including:

1. Streptococcal pharyngitis (Streptococcal sore throat).
2. Scarlet fever.
3. Skin infections such as: Streptococcal pyoderma- a localised purulent skin infection; erysipelas- spreading infection of the skin; and cellulitis-spreading infection of the skin and underlying tissue.
4. Necrotising fasciitis or Streptococcal gangrene, the flesh-eating disease.
5. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS).



--------------------
"Long ago, when we all lived in the forest..."
Who are you? Who? Who?

Posts: 1587 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Horatio
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 13 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sparverius, Dragon of Eden:
quote:
Originally posted by Horatio:
I heard the story that he knew he was near his last breath when blood began to come out of his mouth. He knew he was shuffling off "this mortal coil."

Yeah, that would be pretty high on the hint scale.

I did not mean to leave the impression that I thought blood coming from one's mouth happens every day and is quite normal. I did want to put emphasis on how terrible it must have been for Henson to have known he was in the process of dying and would soon be gone. Talk about your life flashing before your eyes. I appreciate the joke, though.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


Icon 01 posted      Profile for First of Two   Author's Homepage   E-mail First of Two   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I had heard the story that Henson knew he was very sick, but that he didn't go in to get treatment because he was one of those "Christian Scientist" types who think that you can get well from any illness or injury if you just BELIEVE enough.

You know, like those idiots who let their kids die from easily-treatable illnesses.

--------------------
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

Posts: 14567 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 95 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My recollection is that he had an overwhelming strep infection that basically produced the "toxic shock" effect mentioned by kjbrasda. He wasn't feeling well but kept pushing himself. By the time it became clear that it wasn't just the flu, he was going down too fast.

Chava

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Wingman
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 06 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chava:
My recollection is that he had an overwhelming strep infection that basically produced the "toxic shock" effect mentioned by kjbrasda. He wasn't feeling well but kept pushing himself. By the time it became clear that it wasn't just the flu, he was going down too fast.

Chava

This was my understanding of it also, that He was too far gone into a strep infection that his organs shut down and He died of a heart attack. I recall this because His death upset me, it was like losing a childhood friend and mentor. How many children (and adults) were entertained and educated by 'Sesame Street'?

Wing "between him and Dr. Suess, I's noes all my letters and numbers" Man
PS Anybody remember the funeral w/ big birds eulogy? Sadder than when Mr. Hooper died.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2