Frank Oz

Biography

Frank Richard Oznowicz was born in Hereford, England to puppeteers Frances and Isidore Oznowicz. His family moved to Montana in 1951, eventually settling in Oakland, California. As a teenager, he worked as an apprentice puppeteer at Children's Fairyland amusement park. He is one of the primary puppeteers responsible for the development of Jim Henson's 1, rue Sésame (1969) and Le Muppet Show (1976) as well as over 75 other Muppet productions. George Lucas originally contacted Henson to play the part of Yoda in L'empire contre-attaque (1980), but he recommended Oz for the part instead. He developed the character's trademark syntax, returning to voice and puppet the Jedi Master in Le retour du Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: Épisode I - La menace fantôme (1999). Oz voiced the computer-generated Yoda in Star Wars: Épisode II - L'attaque des clones (2002) and Star Wars: Épisode III - La revanche des Sith (2005), supporting the transition of the character's rendering to digital. In 2011, the Blu-Ray edition of The Phantom Menace replaced the puppet Yoda with CGI to match the other prequel films. He began a career of behind-the-camera puppet and live action filmmaking by co-directing Dark Crystal (1982) with Henson. He went on to direct Les Muppets à Manhattan (1984), La petite boutique des horreurs (1986), Le plus escroc des deux (1988), Quoi de neuf Bob? (1991), L'indien du placard (1995), Bowfinger, roi d'Hollywood (1999), The Score (2001), Et l'homme créa la femme (2004) and Joyeuses funérailles (2007).