June Foray has been a presence in my life for my entire life. Late last night news broke that the quintessential female voice over artist had passed away less than two months shy of her 100th birthday.
Known for providing thousands of voices for cartoons, commercials and even toys, Foray’s career in cartoons was equalled only by Mel Blanc. Just a few of her notable characters were Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Granny and Witch Hazel from the classic Looney Tunes cartoons, Jokey Smurf, and really that’s just a few of thousands. Foray was one of the most recognizable voices of the last century. She was even the voice of Mattel’s Chatty Cathy, one of the first talking dolls.
Mark Evanier, who collaborated on her autobiography, has a detailed obituary HERE.
It is a strange feeling, at my age, to be writing about the passing of someone who spent more than my entire life performing. Foray was working long before I was born, and continued to work well into her 90s, finally winning her long-overdue first Emmy Award just five years ago. A brief obit in PopCult is hardly enough to recognize the enormity of her influence in animation. She was one-of-a-kind and will remain the standard by which voice actors will be judged for some time to come.