Lynne Thigpen Dies Here's some very sad news: Lynne Thigpen, the Tony-winning actress known to Muppet fans as the voice of Luna on Bear in the Big Blue House, died on March 12th, 2003 of a heart attack at the age of 54. Thigpen was better known to the rest of the world for her stage work, her current role on the TV series The District, and her role as the Chief on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? -- but everybody who knows Bear loves Luna. We'll miss her.
Michael Jeter Dies More sad news... It's been a tragic month for gentle children's show actors. Michael Jeter, the actor known to Elmo's World fans as Mr Noodle's brother, Mr Noodle, died on March 30th, 2003 in his home. He was 50 years old. There's a nice obituary for Jeter on Playbill.com. Personally, I have to add that Mr Noodle's brother, Mr Noodle, was my favorite of the Noodles -- that sounds like faint praise, I know, but I really loved him. He was vulnerable and sweet and very very funny, and every time I've watched Elmo's World, I've always looked forward to seeing him. He did other things, of course -- he won a Tony Award for Grand Hotel and an Emmy Award for Evening Shade -- and he courageously came out as HIV-positive in 1997 to help advocate for more responsible portrayals of HIV and AIDS on television. Michael Jeter was an amazing guy, and a fantastic Noodle. We only get one of him in the universe. I'll miss him.