Kermit the Frog gets a new croak after 27 years

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Whitmire had been working with the Muppets since 1978.

Taking over will be Matt Vogel, the spokesperson said.

Muppet Kermit the Frog and his operator Steve Whitmire take questions from the audience November 14, 2003, at Barnes & Noble Union Square. Matt will make his Kermit debut in a "Muppets Thought of the Week" video next week.

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The puppeteer was involved with the Muppets from the late '70s, Tough Pigs notes, but he first took on the role of Kermit in 1990 following the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson. Aside from Kermit, Whitmore portrayed several Fraggle Rock characters as well as Rizzo the Rat.

Steve Whitmire, the actor who has provided the voice for the Muppets' Kermit the Frog for more than 25 years, has been replaced.

ABC News and The Hollywood Reporter report that Steve Whitmire has left his role giving life to the iconic green Muppet. Little is known about the reason for his departure, but at 57-years-old, perhaps he just fancied an early retirement.

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Children's TV shows have survived changes in key cast members before, most notably when Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" in 2012 amid allegations that he sexually abused underage boys.

Disney, the owner of Muppets Studio, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has also done Count von Count from "Sesame Street" and a variety of other popular characters, including in the most recent movie "Muppets Most Wanted" (2014).

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