"Chance, dumb luck or destiny? Who knows the controlling force that chooses where and how we find our lives manifest? I can only say I have traveled through the breathtaking up and down melody of a lifetime that, I studied and trained for, wandered the paths of least resistance (following my water nature) to, and that I am either blessed and one of the luckiest bozos walking this planet or both." Jerry Nelson
Also a musician and actor, he took part in dozens of Muppet projects, from the 1971 TV movie "Tales From Muppetland: The Frog Prince," to 1979's "The Muppet Movie," to the 1980s series "Fraggle Rock," to last year's "The Muppets."
Nelson joined "Sesame Street," which debuted in 1969, early in the show's run. He soon took on major characters including The Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Sherlock Hemlock.
"The cast and crew of 'Sesame Street' and the staff of Sesame Workshop deeply mourn the loss of cast member and creator of dozens of Muppet characters, Jerry Nelson," said a message on Sesame Street's website.
"A member of the 'Sesame Street' family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters. We will miss his extraordinary spirit and the joy he brought to our Street."