Robert Homme

Robert Homme, the man millions of Canadians knew as television’s “Friendly Giant,” died May 2 in Toronto following a four-year bout with cancer. He was 81.

The “Friendly Giant,” a 15-minute children’s program, featured puppets Jerome the Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster reading, talking, playing music and singing. The show, which aired on CBC television from 1958-85, is still in reruns.

Homme originally created the “Friendly Giant” for radio in 1953 in Madison, Wis. He moved to Canada in 1958 and began the television series.

Richard, who sometimes played bass guitar on the show, said there was a central theme but it was largely improvised. He also said there was a good sense of camaraderie and friendship on the set.

In 1998 Homme was presented with the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor.

In addition to his son, Homme is survived by his wife, Esther, and two daughters.

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