|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)|
September 24, 1894
Lancaster, Pennsylvania U.S.
|Died||January 5, 1979
Los Angeles, California U.S.
|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.
He was most famous as a voice actor. His voice was a deep and strong-sounding baritone.
In MGM films, he voiced Spike the Bulldog and on 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.
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.
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 as well as appearing in episode 27 of the TV series.
In 1971, Bletcher played one of his final roles, Pappy Yokum in a television adaptation of Lil Abner.
Bletcher died on January 5, 1979 at the age of 84 in Los Angeles, California. His interment was at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
- A Sticky Affair (1916)
- One Too Many (1916)
- The Serenade (1916)
- The Battle Royal (1916)
- The Brave Ones (1916)
- Aunt Bill (1916)
- Turn To The Right (1922)
- Cornered (1924)
- The Bar-C Mystery (1926)
- The Terrible People (1928)
- The Texas Ranger (1931)
- Bridge Wives (1932)
- The Dentist (1932)
- The Midnight Patrol (1933)
- Bedtime Worries (1933)
- The First Round-Up (1934)
- Punch Drunks (1934)
- March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934)
- Service With a Smile (1934)
- The Lost City (1935)
- Balloon Land (1935)
- I Haven't Got a Hat (1935)
- Divot Diggers (1936)
- Pigs Is Pigs (1937)
- Can This Be Dixie? (1937)
- Egghead Rides Again (1937)
- The Case of the Stuttering Pig (1937)
- Lonesome Ghosts (1937)
- The Lone Ranger (1938)
- Hide and Shriek (1938)
- The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939)
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Mayor/Lollipop Guild (voice) (uncredited)
- The Autograph Hound - Security Guard
- Dumbo (1941)
- Dog Trouble (1942) - Spike
- Little Gravel Voice (1942) - Wolf (uncredited)
- Who Killed Who? - Police Officer (1943)
- The Bodyguard (1944) - Spike
- Puttin' on the Dog (1944) - Spike (uncredited)
- Tee for Two (1945) - Tom (uncredited)
- Quiet Please! (1945) - Spike
- Bowery Bugs - Steve Brodie (1949)
- Houdini (1953) - Italian Basso (uncredited)
- Smarty Cat (1955) - Tom (uncredited)
- Surf-Bored Cat (1967) - Shark (uncredited)
- Get a Horse! (2013) - Peg-Leg Pete (archival audio)
- "Interview with Billy Bletcher, by Michael Barrier and Milton". Funnyworld. 1969. Retrieved 2014.