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Jon Stone.

Jon Stone (April 13, 1931 – March 13, 1997) is best known for writing and producing Sesame Street, and is credited with helping develop characters such as Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. [1] He is regarded by many as one of the best children's television writers. He started working for children's programs in 1955 beginning as writer as Captain Kangaroo. He later worked for Sesame Street as writer and executive producer.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Stone graduated from Williams College in 1952. He received a master's degree from the Yale University School of Drama in 1955, at which time he joined a CBS training program. Before helping to create Sesame Street, he worked on the popular children's television show Captain Kangaroo for CBS. He also worked on several other Muppet projects before and during his time on Sesame Street, and was the author of several books including the popular "The Monster at the End of this Book".

Stone was married to former actress Beverley Owen, who was best remembered as the original 'Marilyn' on The Munsters' first 13-episode 1964 season. During production, Owen was distraught over the separation-by-distance of her then-boyfriend, who was living on the east coast. Because of this, by late 1964 Owen was released from her contract, and left her Hollywood TV career to join and eventually marry Stone in New York The couple later had two daughters, Polly and Kate, before divorcing a decade later in 1974.

Stone's earliest association with Jim Henson came in 1965, working on on fairy tale projects, along with writer Tom Whedon, such as a proposed Snow White series. This was turned into a Cinderella pilot, which was shot in October of that year but never aired, and eventually became Hey, Cinderella!. Stone also appeared in Henson's 1967 short film Ripples, as an introspective architect.

In 1968, Stone brought Henson and Joe Raposo (who also worked on Hey, Cinderella!]] to the attention of Children's Television Workshop president Joan Ganz Cooney when she started putting together Sesame Street. He wrote the pilot script, and was one of the three original producers of the program; he later served as an executive producer for many years.

Stone eventually became Sesame Street director from 1969 until 1994. He also directed the 1995 Christmas special Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. Stone died in New York, on March 13, 1997 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Posthumously, a memorial bench on the Literary Walk in Central Park was dedicated to Stone. The bench is located directly to the right of the bench dedicated to Jim Henson. In his New York Times obituary, Joan Ganz Cooney describes Stone as "probably the most brilliant writer of children's television material in America.”

Jon Stone is perhaps best known as the author of The Monster at the End of This Book, published by Random House as a Little Golden Book.

External links


  1. ^ Obituary: Jon Stone, Helmore, Edward, The Independent. April 22, 1997.


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