first came to Canada in 1963 with pal Fred (Mister) Rogers who was working on the concept for his children's program at the CBC. Ernie Coombs got his start the following season on "Butternut Square", which evolved into Mr. Dressup, probably the most popular Canadian children's' program in the history of television. Mr. Dressup, along with puppets Casey and Finnegan, taught kids how to create their own arts and crafts projects, and also taught them about safety, and of course, family values. Ernie Coombs was presented with The Academy of Canadian and Television's prestigious Earle Grey Award in 1994, for excellence in Canadian television programming. He became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996, and was honored with a special Save the Children Award in 1997, for his many years of service as their spokesperson. Ernie Coombs died on September 18, 2001 at age 73.