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Mel Blanc

Full / Real Name: Melvin Jerome Blanc
Born: 30 May 1908 (115 years old)
Gender: Male

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Bio

Mel Blanc was an American voice actor for both classic American radio programs and many animation studios, primarily Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera.

Blanc joined Leon Schlesinger Studios (the subsidiary of Warner Brothers Pictures, which produced animated cartoons) in 1936.

He soon became noted for voicing a wide variety of cartoon characters, including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and many others.

His natural voice was that of Sylvester the Cat but without the lispy spray (it can be heard in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, which also featured frequent Blanc vocal foil Bea Benaderet; in his small appearance, Blanc plays a vexed cab-driver).

After spending most of two seasons voicing the robot Twiki in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Blanc's last original character was an orange cat named Heathcliff, who spoke a little like his famed Bugs Bunny but with a more street tough demeanour.

Some of Blanc's characters:

1. Porky Pig (1936, assumed from Joe Dougherty)
2. Daffy Duck (1937)
3. Happy Rabbit (a.k.a. Bugs Bunny's prototype) (1938)
4. Bugs Bunny (1940)
5. Woody Woodpecker (1940)
6. Cecil Turtle (1941)
7. Tweety Bird (1942)
8. Private Snafu, numerous World War II related cartoons (1943)
9. Yosemite Sam (1945) ("Hare Trigger")
10. Pepé Le Pew (1945)
11. Sylvester (1946) aka Thomas (1947) in some films
12. Foghorn Leghorn (1946)
13. Henery Hawk (1946)
14. Charlie Dog (1947)
15. Mac (of Mac & Tosh) (1947)
16. K-9 (1948) (sidekick to Marvin the Martian)
17. Marvin the Martian (1948)
18. Road Runner (1949)
19. Beaky Buzzard (1950)
20. Bruno the Bear (1951)
21. Wile E. Coyote (silent until 1952, first spoke in the short "Operation: Rabbit")
22. Speedy Gonzales (1953)
23. The Tasmanian Devil (1954)
24. Elmer Fudd (1959, after the death of Arthur Q. Bryan)
25. Barney Rubble (1960)
26. Dino (1960) (Fred Flintstone's pet.)
27. Cosmo G. Spacely (1962)
28. Hardy Har Har (1962-1964)
29. Secret Squirrel (1965-1966)
30. Bubba McCoy from "Where's Huddles?"
31. Chug-a-Boom/The Ant Hill Mob/The Bully Brothers from "The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1969)"
32. Speed Buggy (1973)
33. Tucker the Mouse from "A Cricket in Times Square (1973)"
34. Captain Caveman (1977)
35. Twiki from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)
36. Heathcliff (1980, appeared in syndication from 1984-1987)

Blanc's death from cardiovascular disease at age 81 was considered a significant loss to the cartoon industry because of his skill, expressive range, and the sheer volume of continuing characters he portrayed, which are currently taken up by several other voice talents; no one individual can currently match the vocal range Blanc was able to establish.

Indeed, as movie critic Leonard Maltin once pointed out, "it is astounding to realize that Tweety Bird and Yosemite Sam are the same man!".

That range was partially aided by recording technology. For instance, Blanc's standard Daffy Duck voice is essentially his Sylvester voice played back a few percent faster than it was recorded to give it a higher pitch.

Blanc would later develop the skill to reproduce such "sped up" voices himself live as necessary.

Other character voices that were given this special treatment included Porky Pig, Henery Hawk, and Speedy Gonzales.

Blanc died in Los Angeles, California, and is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

Blanc's will stated his desire to have the inscription on his gravestone read, "That's All Folks!", considered by some to be one of the most famous epitaphs in the world.

Blanc died on 10 July, 1989.


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