The Muppets: Steve Whitmire Departs After Nearly 40 Years

Kermit the Frog's longtime puppeteer has left The Muppets

Kermit the Frog voice actor has been replaced

Kermit the Frog is getting a new voice. The Muppets Studio spokeswoman declined to discuss the details behind Whitmire's departure. Vogel has voiced such characters as Big Bird, Robin the Frog and The Count.

Since Henson's death, Whitmire told CNN he tried to keep Kermit true to his original character, while putting a little of his own experience into the amphibian actor.

Disney's Muppet Studio confirmed the news to Muppets fan site ToughPigs, stating that "Steve Whitmire is no longer working with the Muppets". Matt will make his Kermit debut in a "Muppets Thought of the Week" video next week. Elmo is now performed by Ryan Dillon. Kermit was fashioned from an old coat belonging to Henson's mother and was named after one of Henson's childhood friends.

He was a "mainstay" of the Muppets and also voiced for Ernie on Sesame Street, the Times reported. After 27 years, most fans have reconciled.

Vogel has been with the Muppets since 1996, and is now the performer behind Camilla the Chicken and Sesame Street's The Count.

Kermit the Frog - with whom the famous diva has had an on-off romance over many years - is "losing" his voice.

"This is honestly the most depressing news ive heard all week. but i know matt vogel is a very talented guy and im proud of him for filling", said another user.

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