Bill Barretta Mahna Mahna

BILL BARRETTA preparing a scene with Mahna Mahna.

Bill Barretta Dinos

Bill Barretta

WILLIAM PAUL "BILL" BARRETTA[1] (b. June 19th, 1964) has been performing with the JIM HENSON Company since 1991 & has become 1 of the leading Muppet performers.

Originally from Yardley, Pennsylvania, BARRETTA was trained at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City as an actor & has appeared in the feature films Murder in the 1st & Born to Be Wild. He also worked as a carpenter before joining HENSON. He met Brian Henson while they were both working at SESAME Place, & the younger Henson encouraged him to join the Company.

His first break came performing the body of Earl Sinclair on Dinosaurs. BARRETTA, from suit performance, transitioned to assisting & supporting roles in The Animal Show, playing multiple small character roles in Muppet Classic Theater & Mr. Willowbys Christmas Tree, & made his film debut as a principal performer in the 1996 movie Muppet Treasure Island playing Clueless Morgan. He later developed a whole bunch of new characters on Muppets Tonight, which include Pepe the King Prawn, Bobo the Bear & Johnny Fiama.

As well as having his own Muppet characters, BARRETTA has taken over several of JIM HENSONs main characters, namely the Swedish Chef, Mahna Mahna, Rowlf the Dog, & Dr. Teeth. Most recently, he has also taken on the role of Louie, Elmos dad, in Sesame Beginnings.

In addition, BARRETTA has served as a producer for Its a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie & The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, & co- the screenplay of the Creature Shop film Jack & the Beanstalk: The Real Story (appearing on camera as Thunderdell).

BARRETTA directed a test pilot for the Americas Next Muppet pitch & directed another presentation pilot featuring the Muppets in mock documentary style, focusing on the Muppets efforts to launch a network television series. The next presentation pilot was written & produced by Bill Prady & featured puppetry by BARRETTA, DAVE GOELZ, STEVE WHITMIRE & ERIC JACOBSON.

In the latest production, The Muppets, BILL BARRETTA was not only a major performer but also acted as Muppet Captain.[2]

Muppeteer CreditsEdit

Bill Barretta 2011

Bill Barretta

Bill Barretta photo

Bill Barretta

Neil Patrick Harris & Bill Barretta at The Muppets premiere

Production creditsEdit



  • Barretta attended St. Mary's Hall in Burlington, New Jersey
  • Barretta, in addition to his puppeteering, has provided several episodic character voices on the Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible.
  • Bill is the brother of Gene Barretta.
  • Barretta met Jim Henson twice; once at SESAME Place, where he helped JIM find the automated characters & later at his apartment.
  • Rowlf talked about Barretta in 2001: "Bill Barretta? That name sure is familiar, but I cant quite place him...Oh, wait a second, is that the fellow who gives me a lift now & then? Sure! Great guy-funny, creative, & I can beat him at cards. Whats not to like?"[3]
  • Characters of Jim Hensons Bill Barretta has now performed once or consistently are:


  2. NPR: For Muppeteers , It Isnt Easy Being Invisible
  3. Yamaha All Access Magazine

Special extra imagesEdit

See alsoEdit

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