RIP ‘Cartoon Queen’

June Foray – the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Tweety & Sylvester’s Granny, Jokey Smurf, and countless other cartoon characters over a career that spanned 10 decades (she began on radio, playing an elderly woman in 1929!) – died this week two months short of her 100th birthday.

To honor her, let’s start with Foray’s first film role, as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in The Egg Cracker Suite (1943):

And here’s a clip from Foray’s final film, once again voicing Rocky in 2014:

In 2012, at the age of 94, Foray won a Daytime Emmy (Outstanding Performance in an Animated Program) for playing Mrs. Cauldron on Cartoon Network’s The Garfield Show.

Foray was not only highly sought-after for voice-over work in cartoons, but for live-action productions as well. For example, she voiced Talky Tina in the 1963 “Living Doll” episode of The Twilight Zone (“My name is Talky Tina…and I’m going to kill you.”). Here’s the entire episode boiled down into two minutes:

Talky Tina was inspired by a highly popular real doll of the time, called Chatty Cathy. When little girls across the US pulled her string, can you guess whose voice came out? Here’s a Chatty Cathy commercial:

Finally, Foray occasionally appeared in non-voiceover roles, such as playing a “high priestess” in the 1954 Sabaka. Boris Karloff also stars in what was promoted as “India’s mightiest dramatic pageant!” Here it is, in its entirety:

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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