Van Snowden (Van Charles Snowden)
BiographySan Francisco County, California, USA
Puppeteer Van Charles Snowden was born on February 9, 1939 in San Francisco, California. His parents were Wyatt Estes Snowden and Ortha Dufree. Snowden was raised on a farm in Branson, Missouri. Van started his career in Hollywood by donning the suit of the famous titular dragon H.R. Pufnstuf in the 1970 theatrical film "Pufnstuf." Snowden went on to work for "Pufnstuf" creators Sid and Marty Kroft on such TV series as "The Bugaloos," "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters," and "Land of the Lost. Read more... "acclaimed cable TV horror anthology show "Tales from the Crypt" and in the spin-off movies "Demon Knight" and "Bordello of Blood." His other film credits include "Beetle Juice," "Bram Stroker's Dracula," and the first two "Child's Play" sequels. Snowden was nominated for a prime-time Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program for his work on "D.C. Follies;" this was the first time a puppeteer was ever nominated in this particular category. His last TV credit was as H.R. Pufnstuf on a 2007 episode of "My Name is Earl." Outside of his film and television work, Van also was the head of Hasbro's puppeteer division for the last three years of his life; he devised programming for such toys as Gizmo, E.T., Yoda, and Furby. Snowden died of cancer at age 71 on September 22, 2010 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California; he's survived by his brother Nick and sister Deanna.