Bernice Hansen

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Berneice Edna Hansell (1897–1981) is mistakenly known as "Bernice Hansen" in a variety of animation histories. She provided the voice for female and young characters in the mid to late 1930s for various cartoon studios, most notably Warner Bros., where she played Little Kitty in I Haven't Got a Hat (1935).

Because of a lack of on-screen voice credits on cartoons throughout the '30s, identifying many actors has been a challenge to historians, resulting in incorrect guesses, especially with many female voices portraying young animals that sound very similar. She has, for example, been incorrectly identified as providing the voice of Sniffles.[1]

Hansell was born in California on July 11, 1897[2] to Edward and T. Belle (Carey) Hansell.[3] Her father was an Englishman who arrived in the United States in 1877. Her mother was from Iowa. Edward Hansell worked as a jeweller and then an optician during the 1920s, and as an elevator operator during the Depression of the 1930s. Hansell found work as a stenographer and then as a dressmaker on the Warner Bros. lot[4] She managed to find work in cartoons at the Walt Disney Studio and provided squeaks for Mickey Mouse.[5] That same year, she found work in the Leon Schlesinger and Walter Lantz studios.

Her animation career petered out in the early 1940s. She died in Los Angeles on April 16, 1981, age 83. She never married.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Costello, E.O., "Sniffles" entry at The Warner Bros. Cartoon Companion. Accessed 2008-05-13
  2. ^ California Death Records
  3. ^ U.S. Census reports, 1900-1930
  4. ^ Leon Schlesinger interview, Baltimore Sun, June 20, 1937, from the Ledger Syndicate
  5. ^ United Press story, Dec. 13, 1934

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