Bonnie Erickson is an American artist, inventor, and designer. She is best known for creating the iconic Muppet characters Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf, as well as professional sports league mascots Phillie Phanatic (MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies) and Youppi! (currently with the NHL’s Montréal Canadiens), among others.
In 1970, Erickson joined Jim Henson’s Muppet workshop as a costume designer. Within a few years, she had already designed and built several new Muppet characters, including Miss Piggy. Erickson and her husband Wayde Harrison established their own production, design, and marketing company in 1977 called Harrison/Erickson, Inc. Together, Harrison and Erickson created characters for commercials, theater, and sports mascots. Erickson continued to consult on projects for the Jim Henson Company and Children’s Television Workshop (later, Sesame Workshop). She also developed toy and other product design concepts for licensed brands, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
Two years after the passing of Jim Henson, his widow Jane and several of Jim’s colleagues (Arthur Novell, Albert Gottesman, and Richard Wedemeyer) formed The Jim Henson Legacy. This organization dedicated itself to preserving and perpetuating Henson’s contributions to the worlds of puppetry, television, motion pictures, special effects, and media technology. Erickson joined the foundation as a trustee, and later, president; she also served as the executive director of the organization from 2010-2014.