Getty Images | Paul Morigi

'Sesame Street' Cast Honor Caroll Spinney By Wearing Yellow Feathers After His Death

On December 8th, it was announced that Caroll Spinney, legendary puppeteer on Sesame Street, had passed away at the age of 85. The iconic performer left a lasting mark on audiences, popular culture, and on his cast mates, who honored him the very same day at The Kennedy Center Honors.

Spinney was the puppeteer behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years.

Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said that Spinney, "not only gave us Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he gave so much of himself as well.”

His work in the iconic roles left a lasting legacy that won't be forgotton.

“We at Sesame Workshop mourn his passing and feel an immense gratitude for all he has given to Sesame Street and to children around the world,” she said.

The same night, the 'Sesame Street' cast was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor.

Instagram | @sesamestreet

This award recognizes artists who have made lasting cultural impacts on society. The cast of Sesame Street all banded together to honor Spinney in an incredibly touching way,

The cast all wore yellow feathers on their chests, including the muppets themselves.

What a beautiful, touching tribute to such an important part of the show's history!

The reaction to Spinney's passing has been emotional all around the world from friends to fans to those who grew up on the lessons taught to them by Big Bird.

“Big Bird is him and he is Big Bird,” former 'Sesame Street' head writer Norman Stiles once said of Spinney's personality.

“Before I came to Sesame Street, I didn’t feel like what I was doing was very important,” Spinney said when he announced his retirement last year.

“Big Bird helped me find my purpose.”

Spinney was 85 years old, and had been living with dystonia, a condition which causes involuntary muscle contractions "for some time," according to the Sesame Street Twitter announcement.

Our thoughts are with Spinney's friends and family at this time.