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 Sesamstraße (1969) and Die Muppet Show (1976) as well as over 75 other Muppet productions. George Lucas originally contacted Henson to play the part of Yoda in Das Imperium schlägt zurück (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 Die Rückkehr der Jedi-Ritter (1983) and Star Wars: Episode I – Die dunkle Bedrohung (1999). Oz voiced the computer-generated Yoda in Star Wars: Episode II – Angriff der Klonkrieger (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Die Rache der 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 Der dunkle Kristall (1982) with Henson. He went on to direct Die Muppets erobern Manhattan (1984), Der kleine Horrorladen (1986), Zwei hinreißend verdorbene Schurken (1988), Was ist mit Bob? (1991), Der Indianer im Küchenschrank (1995), Bowfingers große Nummer (1999), The Score (2001), Die Frauen von Stepford (2004) and Sterben für Anfänger (2007).
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