The Sesame Workshop, which makes the seminal USA children's show, said Spinney died at home in CT.
"His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while", the statement added.
Spinney starred in more Sesame Street episodes than any other cast member, and also handled puppeteer duties for Big Bird and Oscar on their other guest appearances such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Colbert Report.More news: James Corden plays Boris Johnson in SNL sketch ahead of election week
In a statement announcing his retirement, Spinney said: "Even as I step down from my roles, I feel I will always be Big Bird". In 2006, Spinney was awared the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award.
Spinney had portrayed the characters - including providing their voices - since the show's start in 1969.
Caroll Spinney poses for a photo at the 15th Annual Sesame Workshop Benefit Gala in 2017.More news: President Donald Trump Tweetstorm - The Sunday Edition
The legendary Jim Henson brought Spinney on-board, and by most accounts. he struggled bringing Big Bird to life at first and having him resonate with the audience. "Big Bird helped me find my goal".
The beloved bird, who stands more than eight feet tall has been feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrated with his likeness on a USA postage stamp, and named a "Living Legend" in 2000 by the Library of Congress.
He leaves behind his wife, Debra, who he met on set in 1973, in addition to children and grandchildren.More news: Lazio vs Juventus: Italy Champions blown away in Roma despite Ronaldo goal