May 9, 1960
Westchester County, New York, United States
Executive, Producer, Editor
Sam Raimi, Dave Pressler
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The daughter of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, Lisa Henson established herself as a production executive and studio president before joining her siblings at the Jim Henson Company to oversee its vast library of new and classic animated and live-action films and television series. Born Lisa Marie Henson on May 9, 1960 in Westchester County, New York, she was the eldest of four children by Muppets creator Jim Henson and his wife, fellow puppeteer Jane Henson. Though she and her siblings - brother Brian and John Henson and sister Cheryl and Jane Henson - would all eventually find their way to working with puppets in films and television, Lisa initially decided, while still in high school, to follow a career that was involved in mathematics. But in her freshman year at Harvard University, Henson's interest in math foundered, and was soon replaced by a major in folklore and mythology. Despite the rigors of her studies, Henson also found time to become the first female president of the school's famed humor magazine, Harvard Lampoon. Her status earned coverage in national magazines, which led to an offer to join Warner Bros. as a junior executive. Henson worked her way up the entertainment industry ladder, moving from production executive to executive vice president at Warner, which produced "Lethal Weapon" and "Batman" during her tenure, and then three years as Columbia as president of production, where she oversaw such critical and box office hits as Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" (1995). Four years later, she joined The Jim Henson Company as its CEO, and with siblings Brian, Jane and Cheryl, who were serving as company chairman, a member of its Board of Directors and president of the Jim Henson Foundation, respectively, oversaw a slew of critically acclaimed animated and live-action series that captivated young and adult audiences alike. Among the company's output during her tenure were such pres-school-minded PBS series as the Emmy-nominated "Sid the Science Kid" (2008-2013) and "Dinosaur Train" (2009- ), the CBC's "Dot." (2016- ), and the Netflix series "Julie's Greenroom" (2017), which starred actress Julie Andrews. For older children, Henson produced the computer-animated "Unstable Fables" (2008), which put a humorous spin on classic fables, as well as "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" (ABC, 2005), and the 2014 live-action comedy "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. And for parents, Henson issued through the company's Henson Alternative imprint such series as "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge" (SyFy, 2014), the comedic talk show "No, You Shut Up!" (Fusion TV, 2014-2017) and "The Happytime Murders" (2018), a mix of rude live-action comedy and puppetry starring Melissa McCarthy and directed by Brian Henson. She also kept many of the properties launched during her father's lifetime in the spotlight: these included "Doozers" (Hulu, 2012- ), an animated series featuring the tiny, industrious creatures from "Fraggle Rock" (CBC/ITV/HBO, 1983-1987), a Netflix series, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" (2019- ) inspired by the 1982 feature "The Dark Crystal," as well as a sequel to that film titled "The Power of the Dark Crystal" and a sequel to the cult favorite "Labyrinth." Between these efforts, Henson also teamed with Guillermo del Toro for an adaptation of "Pinocchio" (2021).