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Van Snowden

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Van Charles Snowden (February 19, 1939 – September 22, 2010) was an American puppeteer active in the film and television industries for decades. Snowden performed as the H.R. Pufnstuf character on nearly every episode of the television show of the same name from 1969 to 1971. His other credits included the 1988 horror film, Child's Play, Tales From the Crypt and D.C. Follies.


 life and career
Snowden was born in San Francisco, California, in 1939. He was raised in Branson, Missouri, on a farm.

Snowden launched his professional career by performing as the title character of H.R. Pufnstuf, which was created by Sid and Marty Krofft, from 1969 until 1971. He also perormed as H.R. Pufnstuf in Pufnstuf, which was a spinoff of the television series. He continued to collaborate with Sid and Marty Krofft on a number of their other productions, including Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Lidsville and The Bugaloos. Additionally, Snowden toured with The Pufnstuf Road Show for two years.

In 1989, Snowden and other puppeteers were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program at the 41st Primetime Emmy Awards for their work on D.C. Follies. The nomination marked the first time that the Primetime Emmy Awards had honored puppeteers in their history. However, Snowden and the cast of D.C. Follies lost to singer Linda Ronstadt, who won for her performance on Great Performances on PBS that year.

Snowden's performed the puppetry for the Chucky character in the 1988 horror film, Child's Play. His other film credits included work on Beetlejuice in 1988, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey in 1991, Dracula in 1992, Alien Resurrection and Starship Troopers and the 1998 The X-Files film. During the 1980s, Snowden became the lead puppeteer on Pee-wee's Playhouse television series. He also performed the puppetry for the Crypt Keeper on Tales from the Crypt, an anthology series which aired from 1989 until 1996.

His last television credit was as H.R. Pufnstuf on an episode of My Name is Earl in 2007.

Snowden also worked for the puppeteer division of Hasbro and its Tiger Electronics division. He was part of the puppetry and programming team which developed the body, mouth and eye movements for such interactive toys as Furby, E.T., Gizmo and Yoda. Snowden headed Hasbro's puppeteer division for the last three years of his life and career.

Van Snowden died from cancer on September 22, 2010, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California, at the age of 71. He was survived by his brother, Nick, and sister, Deanna.

Van was the son of Wyatt Estes Snowden and Ortha Dufree.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Van Snowden", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.