Voice of Rocky the Squirrel and Many Other Beloved Cartoon Characters Dies

Jul 27, 2017  •  Post A Comment

One of the most accomplished and beloved voice performers of all time died Wednesday at age 99.

June Foray, who for decades performed on cartoon series including “Woody Woodpecker,” “Huckleberry Hound,” “The Jetsons,” “Tom and Jerry,” “Mister Magoo,” “Bugs Bunny,” “Yogi Bear,” “Road Runner,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “The Smurfs,” “DuckTales” and “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles, according to media reports.

Foray’s many characters included Rocky the Squirrel and Natasha on “Bullwinkle,” Jokey Smurf, Cindy Lou Who, Lucifer from Disney’s “Cinderella,” Witch Hazel, and Granny from the Friz Freleng Warner Bros. cartoons, to name just a few.

Foray not only provided the voice of Talky Tina on the “Living Doll” episode of “The Twilight Zone,” but also was the voice of the original “Chatty Cathy” doll from Mattel.

One of her career disappointments was losing out on the part of Betty Rubble on “The Flintstones” to Bea Benaderet.

Foray began in radio in the late 1930s and was a part of radio programs including “Cavalcade of America,” “The Lux Radio Theatre,” “The Life of Riley,” “The Jimmy Durante Show” and “Amos ‘n’ Andy.” She began a long collaboration with Stan Freberg during this period, going on to work with Freberg in multiple media, including recording albums with him.

Foray did some acting in live-action film, but made her biggest mark with her voice work. She was a presence across many platforms, including in video games later in her career — as Magica De Spell in “Disney Think Fast” and “DuckTales: Remastered” and as Granny in a number of “Looney Tunes” games, among others.

Her most recent television work including voicing Granny on “The Looney Tunes Show” as recently as 2014, along with playing a number of roles on “The Garfield Show” and “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.” She was Lezah the Wicked on “Duck Dodgers,” Madame Argentina on “The Powerpuff Girls” and Rat on “Cave Kids,” and revived her Rocky J. Squirrel character for “Family Guy.”

Foray’s many awards include a Daytime Emmy for “The Garfield Show” in 2012, a Grammy for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” in 1968 and the Governor’s Award from the Primetime Emmys, awarded in 2013.

She was a driving force behind the creation of the Annie Awards for accomplishments in animation, first awarded in 1972, and in 1995 became the first recipient of its juried award named for her, the June Foray Award. Foray also worked to help establish the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, first awarded in 2001.

Here’s a clip from 2010 in which Foray talks about her work on “The Bullwinkle Show” …

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