Steve Whitmire (born September 24, 1959) is a puppeteer with the Jim Henson Company. He has been the performer of two signature Muppets - Kermit the Frog and Sesame Street's Ernie - since the passing of their creator, Jim Henson, in 1990. Characters original to Whitmire include Rizzo the Rat, Foo-Foo (Miss Piggy's beloved dog), Fraggle Rock's Wembley Fraggle, and Bean Bunny.
Born near Atlanta, Georgia, he professed interested in puppetry in his childhood. While in high school, Whitmire swore to his classmates that he would one day be Kermit the Frog. He worked with puppets after graduating from high school, and eventually got a job working on The Muppet Show in 1978. Since then, has performed in every major Henson company project, including non-Muppet fare such as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and the ABC television series Dinosaurs.