A familiar face to a generation of Chicago children has died. Bill Jackson was a mainstay of children’s television in Chicago in the 1960s and ‘70s. His most memorable programs were “The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show” on WGN-TV and WFLD, and “Gigglesnort Hotel” on WLS-TV. Jackson worked as a puppeteer, cartoonist and kids’ show host, playing the mayor of a town filled with his puppet creations.

Jackson was hospitalized recently after contracting COVID-19, but had been released. No cause of death has been announced. He was 86.

“The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show” moved to WGN-TV in 1973.  Here are three surviving episodes from May 1974.