Actress June Foray, who gave voice to Rocky the Flying Squirrel and hundreds of other cartoon characters and was sometimes known as the ‘female Mel Blanc’, has died in a Los Angeles hospital aged 99.
Foray died at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest, but she had been in fragile health since a car accident two years ago, niece Robin Thaler said.
Foray was the best-known woman among the voice performers who contributed so much to the classic cartoons of Warner Bros, Disney, Hanna-Barbera and other studios. She had a galaxy of ways to create funny but believable characters, but could also be warm and wise in Disney’s Mulan or, in a memorable Twilight Zone episode, chilling. She had begun performing in radio as a child in Massachusetts and, once in Hollywood, became active in major radio programmes such as The Jimmy
Durante Show. She later called old-time radio a great training ground, forcing her to learn to be versatile and quick-thinking.
Among the legends she worked with were Chuck Jones and the other famed Warner’s animators.
In his 1989 memoir, Chuck Amuck, Jones noted “the highly talented and versatile Mel Blanc” did voices for Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Tweety, Yosemite Sam and others, “except female voices, which were done by the equally talented June