Jane Henson, wife of The Muppets creator Jim Henson, dies of cancer

(CNN) -- Jane Nebel Henson -- who was married to the late Muppets creator Jim Henson and was instrumental in the development of the world-famous puppets -- died Tuesday morning, a representative for the Jim Henson Company said. She was 79.

Henson died at her home in Connecticut after a "long battle with cancer," a written statement from the company said.

The two met in a puppetry class at the University of Maryland in 1954, the release said. Jane Henson was a performer, puppet designer and builder, and Jim Henson's business partner.

The two married in 1959.

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