Hey folks, Harry here... I felt we had some readers that felt like writing about these three voice giants, that knew more about their lives than I. To be honest, I never knew the name of the voice behind Fred Flintstone... kinda odd that one. But Thurl Ravenscroft - I was a huge fan of his work. From his "You're a mean one, Mr Grinch" to... even better, his singing of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" on the Haunted Mansions ride at DISNEYLAND - that one day, I'll express exactly how influential that ride and that song was upon me. But for now, I hand over this digital eulogy to this pair...
Three classic animation voices silenced this past week:
HENRY CORDEN R.I.P.
Best known for his voice of Fred Flintstone (replacing Alan Reed after his death), character actor Henry Corden has passed away at age 85.
Outside of his Flintstone work, my favorite role of his was his recurring stint as Mr. Babbitt, the gruff landlord of THE MONKEES.
HOWARD MORRIS 1919-2005
Comedian-actor-director Howard Morris passed away Saturday afternoon.
Morris, well known for his appearances with Sid Ceaser and Carl Reiner on YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS in the 1950s, joined the regular cast at Hanna Barbera with his portrayal of Jet Screamer (above) on THE JETSONS in 1962. He also voiced Atom Ant, Mr. Peebles and Breezly Bruin among others for H-B. More importantly, Morris did most of the voices for Gene Deitch's Oscar winning short MUNRO (1960), was King Features' BEETLE BAILEY (1962) and enacted several voices on Filmation's THE ARCHIE SHOW (1968), including Jughead.
He was a regular voice in Disney films, a member of the Mel Brooks stock company, and directed numerous 60s sitcoms and comedy features.
And the one I kinda knew had to happen soon, as he was getting WAY up there...
Thurl Ravenscroft 1914-2005
Thurl Ravenscroft, who roared "They're Grrrrreeeat!" in Kellogg's Tony the Tiger ads and voiced a host of Disney characters, died Sunday of prostate cancer. He was 91.
For more than 50 years, Ravenscroft was the voice behind Tony the Tiger, TV's popular cartoon pitchman for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. He is also well known for his cartoon voice work with Disney and Chuck Jones - including singing the classic "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" - and lent his voice to characters on rides at Disneyland, including the Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion.
Born in Norfolk, Neb., Ravenscroft moved to California in 1933 to study art. By the mid-1930s he was appearing regularly on radio, and by the late-1930s he was singing backup for Bing Crosby. In 1952, Ravenscroft's voice appeared in the first Frosted Flakes commercial.
Sucks bigtime buddy.
And Austin's own Horror Host, Professor Griffin added this about Thurl Ravenscroft!
And the Haunted Mansion has it's 1000 ghost.
Greetings Night Creatures.
Thurl Ravenscroft has shuffled off his mortal coil. For those of you who do NOT know the name, the voice will be familiar. His was the voice that sang 'Grim Grinning Ghosts' in the graveyard of the Disney Haunted Mansion and indeed his FACE can be seen as one of the singing busts in the graveyard.
I am actually deeply saddened by his passing for numerous reasons.
My feelings of love for for this particular DARK RIDE ala The Magic Kingdom (The Mansion) is great and his voice has brought me boundless joy time and time again. But even more than that, MUCH more is the fact that for ME, Thurl Ravenscroft WAS THE voice of Disney.
His deep baritone and harmonies with his group The Mellow Men, not only rang loud and deep throughout the Haunted Mansion, but the jaunty pirate number in Pirates of the Carribean as well.
His voice was the voice of the narrator on the 33 RPM record of the Haunted Mansion that I listened to again and again as a child and it was HIS voice, not Bing Brosby's that first introduced me to the 'Headless Horseman' via my record of The Legend of Sleep Hollow.
His 'You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch' is played again and again every holiday season and will live eternally. (No one will ever sing the words, "Rotten Banana with a Greasy Black Peel" quite like Mr. Ravenscroft)
But I suppose his greatest contribution to popular culture, and one that will live on beyond all our lives, is the voice of the one and only Tony the Tiger.
Thurl Ravenscroft (LOVE that name) was GRR-EAT!
And may angels speed thee to they rest....