Bill Barretta

Bill Barretta

One of the leading puppet performers in the industry, Bill Barretta is best known for his work with the Jim Henson Company. Barretta first began work as a carpenter and while employed at Sesame Place, he met Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, who encouraged him to work professionally as an actor. Barretta trained at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, leading to small roles in the courtroom drama "Murder in the First" and the ape movie "Born to Be Wild." His first big break came performing as the body of prehistoric patriarch Earl Sinclair on the puppet series "Dinosaurs," produced by Henson. Barretta transitioned to assisting and supporting roles in "The Animal Show" and playing multiple small roles in "Muppet Classic Theater"; he made his film debut as a principal performer playing pirate/goat Clueless Morgan in "Muppet Treasure Island." While working on "Muppets Tonight" he developed new characters such as Sinatra-esque crooner Johnny Fiama and ursine security guard Bobo the Bear. Later, Barretta took over several of Jim Henson's roles--most notably, the Swedish Chef. Barretta put on his producer hat with the television movies "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" and "The Muppets Wizard of Oz."