Jane Henson first met Jim Henson at a puppetry class at the University of Maryland in 1954. When Jim was offered a job at Washington D.C. affiliate KRC-TV, he asked Jane to co-create the show Sam and Friends, which aired before the national news show The Huntley-Brinkley Report. These characters included a prototype of what would become Kermit the Frog and several other characters featured in The Muppets. They made their first national TV appearance on Steve Allen's The Tonight Show.
Although the couple split in 1986, four years before Jim Henson's death, Jane continued to carry on his legacy. She formed the Jim Henson Legacy in 1992, an organization dedicated to preserving his work. She also served on the board of the Jim Henson Foundation, which was formed in 1982 to promote and develop the art of puppetry. The Foundation is now lead by her daughter, Cheryl Henson.