Frank Oz

Biography

Frank Richard Oznowicz was born in Hereford, England to puppeteers Frances and Isidore Oznowicz. His family moved to Montana in 1951, eventually settling in Oakland, California. As a teenager, he worked as an apprentice puppeteer at Children's Fairyland amusement park. He is one of the primary puppeteers responsible for the development of Jim Henson's Sesamo apriti (1969) and Muppet Show (1976) as well as over 75 other Muppet productions. George Lucas originally contacted Henson to play the part of Yoda in L'Impero colpisce ancora (1980), but he recommended Oz for the part instead. He developed the character's trademark syntax, returning to voice and puppet the Jedi Master in Il ritorno dello Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: Episodio I - La minaccia fantasma (1999). Oz voiced the computer-generated Yoda in Star Wars: Episodio II - L'attacco dei cloni (2002) and Star Wars: Episodio III - La vendetta dei Sith (2005), supporting the transition of the character's rendering to digital. In 2011, the Blu-Ray edition of The Phantom Menace replaced the puppet Yoda with CGI to match the other prequel films. He began a career of behind-the-camera puppet and live action filmmaking by co-directing Dark Crystal (1982) with Henson. He went on to direct I Muppet alla conquista di Broadway (1984), La piccola bottega degli orrori (1986), Due figli di... (1988), Tutte le manie di Bob (1991), La chiave magica (1995), Bowfinger, roi d'Hollywood (1999), The Score (2001), La donna perfetta (2004) and Funeral Party (2007).