Mike Quinn (puppeteer)

Mike Quinn (born in 1964) is an English actor, animator, and puppeteer. He is also known as Mike Quinby, Michael E. Quinn, and Michael Quinn.

Early life and career

Quinn, who hails from London, began puppeteering at age eight, with a magic act for his family.

In 1977, Quinn was a fan of the Muppets and got to meet Jim Henson where he'd regularly visited the set of The Muppet Show with his homemade puppets where learned and received various encouragement from Jim Henson and his co-workers.

Upon leaving school around 1980, he joined up with Jim Henson upon being hired by him when it came to working on The Great Muppet Caper where he filled in on crowd scenes and doubling up for the main Muppet characters. Mike Quinn later designed and built the Podlings for The Dark Crystal where he also performed the Skeksis Slave Master SkekNa (who was voiced by David Buck).

From 1987 to 2004, Mike Quinn was engaged to fellow puppeteer Karen Prell. When it came to Return of the Jedi, Mike Quinn assisted Frank Oz into performing Yoda alongside Kathryn Mullen. He also performed Nien Nunb in Return Of The Jedi as well. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mike Quinn joined forces with fellow puppeter David Barclay where they created Ultimate Animates, a production company created to experiment and develop new building and performing techniques for many of their own internal, as well as external, puppet productions. This led to Quinn directing and producing many productions.

When Jim Henson died, Mike Quinn was present at Jim Henson's memorial where he joined the other puppeteers in the "Just One Person" number operating one of the Penguins from The Muppet Show.

Mike Quinn later took up a talent for animating when he joined up with George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, first animating the famed dinosaurs in Jurassic Park III and then moved on to animate on Yoda and other creatures in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

He reprised his role as Nien Nunb in Star Wars: The Force Awakens[1] and will reprise his role in Episode VIII.[2]

Personal life and family

He is also a relative of Mia Farrow since Mike's grandmother was the first cousin of Mia Farrow's mother Maureen O'Sullivan.



Year Title Role Notes
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Additional Muppets
1982 The Dark Crystal SkekNa Performer
1983 Return of the Jedi Nien Nunb and various roles Yoda (assistant performer)
1986 Labyrinth Goblins puppeteer
The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Bulbous, Mayor Bunnyparte Voice
1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol Undertaker Voice, Performer of Miss Piggy and Fonzie Bear
1996 Muppet Treasure Island Additional Muppets
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Additional Muppets Credited as Michael Quinn
2011 The Muppets Additional Muppets
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Additional Muppets
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Nien Nunb
2017 Star Wars: Episode VIII Nien Nunb [3]


Year Title Role Notes
1983–87 Fraggle Rock Gobo Fraggle and various
1987 Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories Brown Gosling Credited as Mike Quinby
1988 The Storyteller Devil Episode: "The Soldier and Death" puppeteer
1989 The Ghost of Faffner Hall Riff 13 episodes
1994 The Secret Life of Toys Various



  1. Jason Ward (25 October 2015). "Star Wars Legend Mike Quinn returns as Nien Nunb in Star Wars: The Force Awakens!". makingstarwars.net. Making Star Wars. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  2. B. Alan Orange (5 February 2016). "Nien Nunb Will Return in 'Star Wars 8'". movieweb.com. MovieWeb. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. Alan Orange (5 February 2016). "Nien Nunb Will Return in 'Star Wars 8'". movieweb.com. MovieWeb. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
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