Billy Bletcher

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Billy Bletcher
Born William Bletcher
(1894-09-24)September 24, 1894
Lancaster, Pennsylvania U.S.
Died January 5, 1979(1979-01-05) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1914–1971
Spouse(s) Arlyn Roberts (m. 1915–79) (his death)

William "Billy" Bletcher (September 24, 1894 – January 5, 1979) was an American silent film and voice actor, and comedian.

Career[edit]

Bletcher appeared on-screen in films and later television from the 1910s to the 1970s, including appearances in several Our Gang and The Three Stooges comedies.

He was most famous as a voice actor. His voice was a deep and strong-sounding baritone.

Bletcher provided the voices of various characters for Walt Disney Pictures (Black Pete, Short Ghost and the Big Bad Wolf in Three Little Pigs and its spin-offs).[1]

In MGM films, he voiced Spike the Bulldog and in some occasions even Tom, in Tom and Jerry, and in Warner Bros. many characters, most notably the Papa Bear of Chuck Jones' The Three Bears after Mel Blanc had performed the role in the initial entry. He portrayed another villainous wolf in Little Red Riding Rabbit.

He auditioned to play one of the dwarfs in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, Walt Disney disapproved in fear that people would recognize Bletcher from the studio's Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck short subjects.[1]

Bletcher's booming voice can also be heard as "Dom Del Oro" the Yacqi Indian god in the 1939 Republic serial, Zorro's Fighting Legion. He also provided voice work for Ub Iwerks as the Pincushion man in 1935's Balloon Land, as well as Owl Jolson's disciplinarian violinist father in the 1936 Warner Bros. short subject based on the song I Love to Singa and the menacing spider in Bingo Crosbyana.

In 1939, Billy Bletcher and Pinto Colvig were hired to perform ADR work for the Emerald City munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.[1]

Both he and Mel Blanc did voice acting for the 1944 Private Snafu WWII training film "Gas", where Bletcher plays the villainous Gas Cloud (with Mel Blanc voicing Private Snafu and a cameo of Bugs Bunny) as an opponent of Snafu. Bletcher also played The Captain in Captain and the Kids with MGM cartoons.

In 1950, he played several characters on The Lone Ranger radio program.

In 1971, Bletcher played one of his final roles, Pappy Yokum in a television adaptation of Lil Abner.

Death[edit]

Bletcher died on January 5, 1979 at the age of 84 in Los Angeles, California. His interment was at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Interview with Billy Bletcher, by Michael Barrier and Milton". Funnyworld. 1969. Retrieved 2014. 

External links[edit]