After 27 years as the voice of Kermit the Frog, veteran puppeteer Steve Whitmire is reportedly saying goodbye to the quick-tongued amphibian. Whitmire, 57, had given life to Jim Henson’s most iconic Muppet character since the creator’s death in 1990.
According to a statement released by Muppets Studio, the role is being taken over by Matt Vogel, another long-time Muppet performer. Vogel’s credits include Kermit’s devious doppelganger, Constantine, World's Most Dangerous Frog in the 2014 film, Muppets Most Wanted.
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Whitmire recently addressed speculation surrounding the circumstances of his departure in a personal blog post, revealing that it wasn’t his choice to abandon the beloved felt frog—the role had simply been recast. "For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion. They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible-to-resist way of life," he wrote in the heartfelt post. "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."
We’ll miss you Steve! Thanks for all the memories.