WASHINGTON - AUGUST 25: Jane Henson, co-creator of the Muppets, participates in a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, on August 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. Jane Henson donated 10 of her late husband Jim Henson's characters from 'Sam and Friends' to the museum including the original Kermit the Frog. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(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.