Ralph Lee, 87, Puppet Maker, Founder of Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

 Ralph Lee (July 9, 1935 – May 12, 2023) —  theater artist, Broadway veteran, the founder of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and the Mettawee River Theatre Company, and above all “one of puppetry’s most prolific and inventive designers” – created seventy-five years worth of characters and creatures, some of which are pictured below.

“Our goal is to create these events that are not just like sitting down and watching a television program and laughing, but there’s something deeper that takes place, and it takes place throughout the whole audience,” he said in one of the videos below.

New York Times obituary: “Father of Puppets and a New York Parade”

The last two photographs are from the first Village Halloween Parade (the skeleton suspended from the ?Washington Arch is a Ralph Lee creation.) Above them is Chevy Chase in “Land Shark” in Saturday Night Live skit in 1978, probably Ralph Lee’s most famous creation.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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