June Foray, the legendary voice actor who brought to life such beloved cartoon characters as Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Magica De Spell and Natasha Fatale, passed away Wednesday at age 99.
News of Foray’s death was announced last night on Facebook by her friend Dave Nimitz, who wrote, “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.” She would have turned 100 in September.
Foray’s career spanned nearly eight decades, from 1937 to 2014, and encompassed radio, film, television and video games. She was one of the original members of ASIFA-Hollywood, and in 1972 founded the Annie Awards, which recognize achievement in animation.
Following early work in radio, on Lady Make Believe, Foray broke into film in 1943 as the voice of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in the Universal short The Egg Cracker Suite. She went on to play roles as Lucifer the Cat in Disney’s Cinderella, Witch Hazel in the Donald Duck short, and Granny (of Sylvester and Tweety fame), a character she’d revisit across decades, on film and television.
However, she’s undoubtedly most famous as the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, on which she also played Natasha Fatale. Foray’s roles also included Betty Rubble on The Flintstones pilot, Cindy Lou Who on Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Aunt May on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Jokey Smurf on The Smurfs, Grammi Gummi on The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and Ma Beagle, Magica De Spell and Mrs. Featerby on DuckTales.
Foray earned a Daytime Emmy Award in 2012, for her work on The Garfield Show, and a pair of Annie Awards, for The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries.
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