Sep. 17th, 1960
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Kevin Clash's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Kevin Jeffrey Clash (September 17, 1960) is an American puppeteer and voice actor whose characters included Elmo, Clifford, and Hoots the Owl.
Clash developed an interest in puppetry at an early age, and began performing for local TV children's shows in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland by the time he was a teenager. In the early 1980s, he began working in Captain Kangaroo, and began performing in Sesame Street in 1984. He was the third puppeteer to perform Elmo, the character he became the most famous for, and became an executive producer and director for the show. Clash worked in various productions for the Muppets and Jim Henson Productions and in other projects. He resigned from Sesame Street in late 2012, after allegations of improper sexual conduct with minors, which Clash denied, stating that any relationships that occurred were between consenting adults.
In 2006, Clash wrote an autobiography called My Life as a Furry Red Monster. He was featured in the documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey in 2011.
Clash was married for 17 years, and had a daughter who was born in 1993.
In November 2012, Clash came out publicly as gay in response to the allegations that led to his resignation from the Sesame Workshop, stating, "I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter".
Clash is an African-American and has stated that although children ignore him and speak directly to Elmo, African-American adults tend to be surprised when they meet him. He has stated in interviews that his racial identity was pertinent to his work, and that it came through in his performances.
- Due to the merchandising deal he struck with toy manufacturers, he is the highest-paid Muppeteer ever. The "Tickle Me Elmo" doll, for instance, was one of the largest-selling dolls in history.
- Unlike most of the other Muppeteers, he rarely appears without Elmo. One of the few instances in which he appeared on television as himself was on the Oprah Winfrey Show, in an episode entitled "The Faces Behind The Famous Names". This episode also featured Marc Jacobs, the lady behind the Jimmy Choo shoe empire, and the woman who inspired the creation of the Barbie doll (the daughter of one of the founders of Mattel, Inc.).
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