Sunday, May 14, 2006
Some of the faces behind some of the voices
When I was a kid I was fascinated by cartoons and by the faces behind the voices. It has been one of my most pleasurable tasks as a writer to interview some of these talented actors. For me, a kid whose favorite character was (and remains) Popeye, having the opportunity to spend time with the late great Jack Mercer was one of the highlights in my professional life.
Over the years, I've tried to pick up stills of movie actors who had a secondary role as a voice performer and will post some periodically on this blog.
The first one here is of Charles Ruggles (far left), the comic character actor who popped up in a parade of Hollywood films in the 1930s. Here he is seen with Charles Farrell and an actress whose last name is Bradley. Some day I'll figure out the name of this picture, but it shows Ruggles in a typical situation: he usually was an innocent bumbler in well over his head.
Ruggles was a member of the Jay Ward stock company and played Aesop in Ward's versions of Aesop's Fables.
Next is a shot of the voice of Jimminy Cricket, Cliff Edwards (far left). He seen with opera star Lawrence Tibbets (center) and Roland Young (sorry, I don't have the name of the woman playing a nurse) from the film The Southerner.
Edwards was an accomplished blues singer who found himself in a wide variety of supporting roles in movies that went from Buster Keaton comedies to westerns. His recordings could be fairly bawdy for the time and I always wondered if Walt Disney knew or cared about that.
©2006 Gordon Michael Dobbs
These are my opinions alone.