Steve Whitmire has performed Ernie and Kermit the Frog since Jim Henson's death in 1990.
His other notable characters include Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Beaker, Statler, Wembley Fraggle, and Sprocket the Dog.
Whitmire became interested in puppetry while watching the Sesame Street Muppets as a teenager. He began working as a puppeteer at an Atlanta theme park, which led to invaluable experience on local television. After meeting Caroll Spinney at a puppetry festival, he auditioned for Jim Henson and began his Muppet career in London working on The Muppet Show. Whitmire has been a principal Muppet performer since 1978 and has worked on every major Muppet project since.