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• Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who on "Sesame Street" brought to live such memorable characters as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, has passed away at age 85.

Spinney started with "Sesame Street" when the show began in 1969, and only retired last year after performing became too physically demanding.


• René Auberjonois, perhaps best known for playing the shape-shifting Odo on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," has passed away from metastatic lung cancer. He was 79.

In addition to "DS9," Auberjonois was known for acting in Robert Altman movies (he was the original Father Mulcahy in the movie version of M*A*S*H, on Broadway (opposite Katharine Hepburn in “Coco," for example), in animated movies (he voiced Chef Louis and sang "Les Poissons" in The Little Mermaid), and in TV series ranging from "Benson" to "Boston Legal."
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