Actor: Mel Blanc

The great characters of Warner Bros. lost their voice in July, 1989. Uploaded by eraserart.com.

The great characters of Warner Bros. lost their voice in July, 1989. Uploaded by eraserart.com.

Bugs Bunny. Porky Pig. Sylvester. Tweety. Daffy Duck. Elmer Fudd. Yosemite Sam. Barney Rubble. Pepe Le Pew. Foghorn Leghorn. Speedy Gonzales. Marvin the Martian. Woody Woodpecker. 400 different voices in all.

Blanc’s impact is so great that it’s impossible to even conceive of what animation would have been like without him. His first voice job for Warner Brothers was Porky Pig. Though he wasn’t the first voice of Porky, he made the character uniquely his own – as he did with all his voices. He worked almost exclusively for Warner, though he voiced Woody Woodpecker for Universal and Barney Rubble for Hanna-Barbera.

Mel Blanc, uploaded by born-today.com.

Mel Blanc, uploaded by born-today.com.

He also acted in several radio and television series (The Jack Benny Program, Burns & Allen, Abbott & Costell0), but voices were his first love. And his paycheck. He voiced Porky and Daffy for an amazing 52 years, and Bugs for 49.

Blanc died 10 years ago this month, and he almost didn’t make it that long. He was in a serious car accident, and languished in a coma for two weeks. Then his doctor, in an inspired moment, addressed him as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. Blanc responded, and eventually made a full recovery. This is a Wikipedia story, so I’m 87.4 percent sure it’s accurate.

Here’s a great video in which Blanc discusses his career and voices with Johnny Carson (No. 81):

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