Where Muppet Christmas Carol cast are now – freak injuries to Inbetweeners fame and Kermit voice sacked after 27 years | The Sun

WHEN it was first released in 1992, many thought The Muppet Christmas Carol was going to be a huge flop.

Pairing a much-loved Charles Dickens novel with a load of puppets and Sir Michael Caine didn’t seem like a recipe for success.

On top of that, The Muppets had lost two of its most prominent figureheads – Muppets creator Jim Henson,  who died suddenly in May 1990, followed by puppeteer Richard Hunt in January 1992.

But 30 years later, it’s become a festive classic, watched by kids over and over every year.

To celebrate its big anniversary, The Muppet Christmas Carol has been released on Disney+ today.

And we reveal where some of the film’s biggest stars and voices are now…

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Sir Michael Caine

Sir Michael is one of the biggest actors in the UK. 

Since playing Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (when he was just Michael), he’s been in everything from Austin Powers and Miss Congeniality to Inception and The Dark Knight.

Following the Muppets, he received his second Golden Globe Award for Little Voice in 1998, and his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules in 2000.

That same year, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to British film.

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Steven Mackintosh

Steven Mackintosh has been in many hits like The Halcyon and Kick-Ass 2

Steven Mackintosh played Scrooge’s nephew Fred in the Muppet Christmas Carol, and has been in plenty of films and television shows since.

He’s most notably played Richard Garland in The Halcyon and has also had roles in Kick-Ass 2, The Sweeney, Luther and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

He was also in raunchy, couple-swapping TV show, Wanderlust, with Toni Collette.

Speaking about starring with the Muppets, he has said: “I had to pinch myself: ‘I’m on a set with Kermit and Michael Caine [Scrooge] – it doesn’t get any better!’ 

“I thought if this all ends now, it has still been incredible.”

Ray Coulthard

Ray Coulthard played a young Ebenezer Scrooge in the Muppet Christmas Carol.

He has since gone on to star in lots of TV shows, most notably playing Alasdair Sinclair in Emmerdale and restaurant manager James Schofield in Hotel Babylon.

In 2020, he starred in Silent Witness.

Robin Weaver

Robin Weaver was Clara in Muppet Christmas Carol.

Most famously, she went on to play Simon’s mum Pamela Cooper in The Inbetweeners and the following two Inbetweeners movies.

She also starred in the White Christmas episode of Black Mirror with Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall.

Meredith Braun

Meredith Braun was just 19 years old when she was Belle in Muppet Christmas Carol.

She originally had a ballad, When Love Is Found, in the film, but it was cut out.

However, it’s been restored for the 30th anniversary release.

Meredith is now a West End star, even taking on the lead role of Christine in the Phantom of the Opera.

She has said she was more starstruck by the Muppets than Michael Caine. 

She told Variety: “I just felt deeply in awe of them all. They were the stars. Miss Piggy was not a diva, contrary to popular belief. I think the best performers aren’t. Michael Caine was the same. 

“If you’re really good, there’s no need to be a diva, is there? It’s all made up!” 

Frank Oz

Frank Oz played a range of characters in The Muppet Christmas Carol, including Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal.

But he was also a big part of Sesame Street – another of Jim Henson’s creations – playing the Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover.

On top of all that, he’s played Yoda in every Star Wars movie.

In 2018, Frank devastated Sesame Street fans when he insisted live-in characters Bert and Ernie weren’t gay, after one of the show’s writers, Mark Saltzman, claimed they were based on his own gay relationship.

Frank tweeted: "I created Bert. I know what and who he is."

He added: "It seems Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay.

"It's fine that he feels they are. They're not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter?

"Why the need to define people as only gay? There's much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness."

Steve Whitmire

In 2017, Steve Whitmire was sacked by Muppets bosses after playing Kermit the Frog for 27 years.

At the time, the puppeteer said he was heartbroken, and felt like he had “failed” his mentor Jim Henson, who originated Kermit.

"For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion," he wrote in an emotional blog post revealing his sacking.

"They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible to resist way of life. This is my life’s work since I was 19 years old.

"I feel that I am at the top of my game, and I want all of you who love the Muppets to know that I would never consider abandoning Kermit or any of the others because to do so would be to forsake the assignment entrusted to me by Jim Henson, my friend and mentor, but even more, my hero."

Matt Vogel took over voicing the role.

Dave Goelz

Dave Goelz played many different roles in The Muppet Christmas Carol including Gonzo the Great, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Waldorf – following Jim Henson’s death – and Zoot.

He has actually now played Gonzo for almost 50 years, having created the character when he joined the Jim Henson Company in 1976.

And, over the years, Dave has suffered a number of injuries due to the way Muppet performers must hold up their arms for extended periods and contort into small spaces. 

These include four shoulder surgeries and a hip replacement

As well as the Muppets, Dave has worked on Fraggle Rock, in which he played Boober Fraggle, and was also in Labyrinth.

Jerry Nelson

When Jerry Nelson took on the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present in the Muppet Christmas Carol, he was more well-known as the full-time voice of Count von Count from Sesame Street.

He provided the voice and puppetry for the vampire who loved to count from 1976 to 2004, and the voice until his death in 2012.

Jerry suffered from prostate cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema, and, for the last six years of his life, required an oxygen tank to assist his breathing.

On August 23, 2012, he died at his Cape Cod home from complications of his illnesses, at the age of 78. 

The film Muppets Most Wanted was dedicated to him and Jim Henson’s wife Jane Henson.

David Rudman

David Rudman played Rat, Peter Cratchit, Old Joe and Swedish Chef in the film.

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When Frank Oz left his role as the Cookie Monster in 2004, it was David who took over.

He’s also the voice behind Janice and Scooter on Sesame Street.

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