Saturday, July 29, 2017

Under the Radar: June Foray

You may not recognize the name or the face, but you just might recognize some of  the characters she played:

Lucifer the cat

Knothead and Splinter

Lena Hyena

Magica De Spell

Nell Fenwick


Grandmother Fa

Jokey Smurf


Granny (replacing Bea Benaderet in 1955)

Witch Hazel (Disney)

Witch Hazel (Warner Brothers)

Cindy Lou Who

Natasha Fatale

And now here's something we hope you'll really like...

Rocky the Flying Squirrel!

When I reflect on the people who bring cartoons to life, I tend to think of such great animators as Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Friz Freling, Bob Clampett, Max Fleischer, Otto Mesmer, William Hanna and Joseph Barbara (when their work appeared on the big screen), Paul Terry, Gene Deitch,  Ub Iwerks, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnson, Frank Thomas, Jack Kinney, and, of course, Iwerks', Kimball's, Johnson's, Thomas', and Kinney's boss, Walt Disney. But the best animation might all be for naught if the characters being animated all talked like that guy on the phone who tells you he's sorry but the number you're trying to reach has been disconnected. Also, if the animation is naught oall on its own (e.g., William Hanna and Joseph Barbara when their work appeared on the small screen) and that makes the voice artists all the more necessary. So though Ms. Foray has left us, let's hope her particular vocal chords, along with those belonging to Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, Don Messick, Clarence Nash, Arthur Q. Bryan, Paul Frees, Stan Freberg, Howard Morris, Bill Scott, Jim Backus, Alan Reed, and the aforementioned Bea Benaderet are forever preserved through movies, TV, and even computers.


  1. Hi, Kirk!

    Thank you for paying tribute to June Foray, a talented lady whose voice work contributed significantly to the soundtrack of my youth. I am most familiar with her characters Rocky and Natasha. June, along with the other great voice actors mentioned in this post, have achieved immortality, because the animated characters they brought to life never grow old and never die.

    Thanks again, good buddy Kirk. I hope you are having a fine weekend up there in Ohio!

  2. Thank you, Shady. Your generous comment certainly contributed to the fineness of my weekend. I was aware that Foray did some of these voices, but not all of them. Cindy Lou Who was a surprise. I imagine her two most famous voices are, as you said, Rocky and Natasha (perhaps because it was one of the few times in her career that her name actually appears in the credits.)

  3. Hi Kirk. Thanks for dropping by today.
    What a career Ms.Foray had! It must have been an absolute blast to play all these characters. And also good for her health!
    I appreciate the work put into this post. Thank you.

  4. You're right about her health, Jim. She was about seven weeks shy of 100!

  5. I love so many of these characters. How wonderful to have such a fabulous job.
    As always a wonderful post.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. It does sound like a wonderful job, parsnip, but I should point out that Foray and the others I mentioned were actors first and voice artists second. Their goal in life was not necessarily to do cartoons, it was just something they fell into. But I can think of a lot worse things to fall into than that.

  6. oh, how I loved Witch Hazel :) She was so delightful!

  7. I delighted you left a comment, Dezmond. Thanks!