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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Voice Of Rocky The Squirrel Turns 95

June Foray, in November 1967, is the voice behind many famous animated characters. (AP)

In her decades as a voice actress, June Foray has portrayed a multitude of animated characters: From Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale on “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” to Witch Hazel from Looney Tunes and Cindy Lou Who on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Voice actress June Foray turned 95 this month. (Denice Duff)

But up until this year, she had never won an Emmy. She picked up one in June for her role as Mrs. Cauldron on “The Garfield Show,” shortly before she celebrates her 95th birthday this month.

Foray is still working, and she spoke with Here & Now’s Robin Young about her career and why she prefers to stay behind the camera.

Interview Highlights:

On The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

“It was like going to a party everytime we had a recording session. There was no drinks, no alcohol, no donning of lampshades. But everybody ragged each other. We told jokes and Jay Ward the producer would join in, and he would say, ‘Well OK, let’s start recording.’”

On Turning 95

“I used to lie about my age because I don’t look it and I don’t sound it and I’m still working. And when I was 60 I looked like 35 or 40. And so I’ve always lied about my age. But some son of a gun put it on a computer. I don’t know how he got it.”

On Working Behind The Camera

“I’d rather do voice-overs. You don’t have to memorize lines, you can be in your slacks or jeans and work for two hours and make a couple of thousand bucks and go home and play with your dogs. It’s really wonderful. I love it.”

Guest:

  • June Foray, voice actress

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.mcconnell.art Dan McConnell

    Don’t tell my wife June but I love you. What a wonderful history of classic material. 

  • Ellie

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool Rocky & Bullwinkle fan.  I loved Natasha’s shtick with that dumb moose especially.  I also felt glee when hearing Grandma blindly trusting her little canary with that “Puddy Tat”, those Warner Brother’s cartoons were a hoot!  I wanted a Chatty Cathy doll in the worst way…when Christmas came, I received a cheap immitation…you can see I never quite got over it!  One other formative piece to my childhood was watching  The Twilight Zone in my parent’s bed while they partied on the weekend.  One of the scariest episodes for me was, yes, you guessed it, the Talking Tina with Telly Savalas tripping to his death. 

    Little did I know there was a common thread throughout these experiences until today.  Thank you dear June.  You have enhanced my life more than you will ever know.  I loved hearing  your voice again.  It brought back a well of feelings. 

  • 5thcolumnist

    Boy, oh boy, Bullwinkle, did this ever make my day! THANK YOU, June Foray, for contributing to a very important part of my childhood development! And thank YOU, Robin Young and the producers of H&N via WBUR, for interviewing such a delightful – as well as important – actress as June Foray.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1826904418 Steven P Robinson

    Thank you so very much for speaking with June, not only did I grow up with her as a favorite voice artist, but also as a member of the family.  June is my dad Stewart’s 1st cousin.  Her mother Ida was my grandfather Harold’s oldest sister.  June’s family moved to LA in 1936 along with  some others including my great grandfather, and they lost touch for a good long while with the Massachusetts bunch.

    I’ve been privileged to speak with her, plus other family members there in California. She (and they) are such warm, friendly, real people.

    - Cousin Steven

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