Don Messick

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Don Messick
Don Messick.jpg
Born Donald Earl Messick
(1926-09-07)September 7, 1926
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Died October 24, 1997(1997-10-24) (aged 71)
Salinas, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Stroke
Resting place
Cremated
Occupation Actor
Years active 1946-1996
Spouse(s) Helen Marie McHugh (1949-1997; his death)[1]
Children Timothy C. Messick

Donald Earl "Don" Messick (September 7, 1926 – October 24, 1997) was an American actor, best known for his voice over roles for Hanna-Barbera.[1]

His best-remembered vocal creations include Scooby-Doo, Bamm-Bamm Rubble and Hoppy in The Flintstones, Astro in The Jetsons, Muttley in Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Sebastian the cat in Josie and the Pussycats; Gears, Ratchet, and Scavenger in The Transformers, Papa Smurf in The Smurfs, and Dr. Benton Quest in Jonny Quest.

Early life[edit]

Messick was born Donald Earl Messick in Buffalo, New York, the son of Binford Earl Messick, a house painter, and Lena Birch (née Hughes).[1]

Career[edit]

At first, Messick wanted to be a ventriloquist, and even supported himself as one for a time. His big break came in the mid-1940s. His first major voice over role was as Raggedy Andy on the radio series The Raggedy Ann Show.[2]

At MGM, Tex Avery was producing the Droopy cartoons. The regular voice actor Bill Thompson was not available. Daws Butler, who voiced characters for MGM, suggested that Avery seek out Messick, and so, he was hired to voice Droopy.

He and Butler became a voice acting team for Hanna-Barbera when they formed their own animation studio in 1957. Their first collaboration was Ruff and Reddy. Don was Ruff the cat and the Droopy-sounding Professor Gizmo, while Daws Butler played the southern-speaking dog, Reddy. Messick also narrated the show, which played out like an animated soap opera. From 1958-1959, Messick played Tadpole in the animated television series produced by Beverly Hills Productions, Spunky and Tadpole.

From 1957-1965, Butler and Messick gave voice to a large number of characters. Always the sidekick, Messick’s characters were not headliners. His notable roles in this era were Boo Boo Bear, Ranger Smith, Major Minor, Pixie Mouse, Astro and Dr. Benton Quest.

He was used primarily for his narration skills, which were heard on many of those cartoons in which Daws Butler starred. In narrating the The Huckleberry Hound Show's Yogi Bear cartoons, he played Ranger Smith in something close to his natural voice.

The actor would eventually star as Ricochet Rabbit in Ricochet Rabbit (1964–65), while Deputy Droop-a-Long was voiced by Mel Blanc. He did the voices of the title character in Precious Pupp and Shag Rugg from Hillbilly Bears. Both segments from The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show. In 1966, Messick took over the roles of Atom Ant and Mr. Peebles of The Magilla Gorilla Show from Howard Morris who had left Hanna-Barbera.

In outer space cartoons, Don Messick created noises and sounds for weird space creatures and aliens. His Ranger Smith voice was often heard as various space villains. His narrator voice was given to Vapor Man, Dr. Benton Quest, The Perilous Paper Doll Man, and Multi Man.

Scooby-Doo and later roles[edit]

In 1969, he was cast as the cowardly canine Scooby-Doo on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. He voiced him through all of the various versions of Scooby-Doo: on television in numerous formats from 1969 to 1985, four television films, and a number of commercials as well. In 1970, he voiced Sebastian on Josie and the Pussycats, and reprised the role in its spin-off Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space two years later, as well as voicing the new alien character, Bleep. From 1980-1988, he voiced Scooby's nephew, Scrappy-Doo, having taken over the role originated by Lennie Weinrib in 1979 and was still voicing Scooby-Doo when A Pup Named Scooby-Doo came along from 1988-1991.

In Hong Kong Phooey, he was the voice of Spot the cat, a faithful sidekick who was the one who foiled the villain's plans, though he let the clueless title character take the glory. In 1977, Don Messick lent his vocal talents to several characters in the first animated adaptation of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

By the 1970s, the popularity of Yogi Bear led to several spin-off TV series and television movies featuring the character. Messick reprised his roles of Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith from the 1970s up until 1994 on Yogi's Gang, Laff-a-Lympics, Yogi's Treasure Hunt and The New Yogi Bear Show.

He played Papa Smurf on The Smurfs from 1981-1989 and Ratchet (the Autobot doctor), Gears, and Constructicon Scavenger on The Transformers. In 1985, new episodes of The Jetsons were produced and Messick returned as Astro, RUDI, Mac and Uniblab, a pesky robot that worked for Mr. Spacely.

He also starred in the Masters of the Universe Golden Book video as He-Man.[citation needed] In 1985, he voiced Louie and Snichey in The Pound Puppies TV Special, in 1988, he had an uncredited role as the Pimp of the Year pageant announcer on I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, and he returned to his role of Benton Quest on The New Adventures of Jonny Quest (1986-1987).

Messick also played a rare on-camera role on the MTM Enterprises sitcom Duck Factory, playing a cartoon voice actor named Wally Wooster. In one episode, frequent collaborator Frank Welker guest-starred as a rival voice artist angling for his job. Don Messick said of his character on the show: "Wally was never quite sure whether he was Wally or Dippy Duck".[2]

From 1990-1995, he voiced Hamton J. Pig in Amblin's Tiny Toon Adventures and its spin-offs. Around that time, he also returned as the voice of Droopy for Tom & Jerry Kids and Droopy, Master Detective. On the 1995 Freakazoid! episode "Toby Danger/Doomsday Bet", a spoof of Jonny Quest, he played Dr. Vernon Danger, a parody of his own Dr. Benton Quest.

At a charity speaking engagement in London, shortly before his death, he performed many of his characters, except Scooby-Doo. He claimed that giving up smoking had robbed him of the rasp in the voice that he needed.

Retirement and death[edit]

In late September 1996, Messick suffered a stroke while recording voices at Hanna-Barbera.

On October 12, 1996, he had a "retirement party" at his favorite Chinese restaurant (Joe Barbera personally sent a limo to Messick and his wife, and the two were chauffeured). Many of his companions and peers during his career who had come to pay tribute to him included Henry Corden, Casey Kasem, Lucille Bliss, Maurice LaMarche, Gregg Berger, Neil Ross, June Foray, Sharon Mack, Greg Burson, Walker Edmiston, Marvin Kaplan, Gary Owens, Howard Morris, Teresa Ganzel, Jean Vander Pyl and Myrtis Martin Butler (Daws' widow).

Messick suffered a second stroke and died on October 24, 1997. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at the Point Lobos State Reserve.

Legacy[edit]

Since his death, Hadley Kay (who voiced Scooby in the Johnny Bravo crossover episode), Scott Innes and Frank Welker have all played the role of Scooby-Doo. In 1998, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island was dedicated to his memory. In 2011, Jonathan Winters (who voiced Grandpa Smurf in the television series) became Messick's successor as the voice of Papa Smurf in The Smurfs and its 2013 sequel. Winters died after finishing his work on the latter film.

Filmography[edit]

Radio[edit]

Year Title Role Notes References
1941-1943 Salsbury, MD [1]
1946 Spotlight Playhouse "Genius From Hoboken"
1946-1947 The Raggedy Ann Show Raggedy Andy
December 26, 1948 NBC University Theatre Mouse "Alice in Wonderland" [3]
1949 Let George Do It Mark Gumple the Contractor "Out Of Mind"
1965 Horizons West "Down The Missouri To St. Louis"

Films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1949 The House of Tomorrow Kitchen Narrator Uncredited
1949 Wags To Riches Droopy Uncredited
1950 The Chump Champ Droopy Uncredited
1956 Millionaire Droopy Droopy Uncredited
1959-1965 Loopy De Loop Hansel
Baby Gorilla
Jack
Cat
Hunter
Watchdog
Bounty Hunter
Farmer
Robin Hood
Farmer's Dog
Quincy
Quincy's Dog
1964 Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Mugger
1966 The Man Called Flintstone Doctor
Additional voices
1970 Pufnstuf Freddy the Flute
Googy Gopher
Orson Vulture
1971 The Andromeda Strain Alarm Voice
1973 Charlotte's Web Jeffrey
1980 The Return of the King Theoden
Easterling
The Mouth of Sauron
1982 The Flight of Dragons Giles of the Treetops
Lo Tae Zhao
1982 The Last Unicorn The Cat
1986 The Transformers: The Movie Gears
1990 Jetsons: The Movie Astro
1992 Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation Hampton J. Pig
Radio Announcer
Direct-to-video film
1992 Tom and Jerry: The Movie Droopy

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1949-1950 Buffalo Billy Additional voices
1952 Time For Beany Narrator
1952 Thunderbolt and Wondercolt Additional voices
1954 The Willy The Wolf Show Additional voices
1957-1960 Ruff and Reddy Ruff
Professor Gizmo
Ubble Ubble
Additional voices
First work for Hanna-Barbera
1958-1959 The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole Tadpole First and Second Season
1958-1962 The Huckleberry Hound Show Pixie
Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Narrator
Ding-a-Ling Wolf
1959-1962 The Quick Draw McGraw Show Narrator
Horse-Face Harry
Sheriff
Additional voices
1960-1966 The Flintstones Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Hoppy
Arnold the Newsboy
Additional voices
Joined the cast in Season 2
1961-1962 The Yogi Bear Show Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Major Minor
Narrator
Additional voices
1961-1962 Top Cat Beau
Prowler
Dr. Dawson
1962-1963 The Jetsons Astro
U.N.I.B.L.A.B.
Additional voices
1962-1963 Wally Gator Mr. Twiddle
Additional voices
1963-1967 The Magilla Gorilla Show Mr. Peebles
Additional voices
Replaced Howard Morris as Mr. Peebles in Season 4
1964-1965 Peter Potamus So-So
Additional voices
1964-1965 Jonny Quest Dr. Benton Quest
Bandit
1964-1965 Ricochet Rabbit & Droop-a-Long Ricochet Rabbit
Additional voices
1965-1967 The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show Atom Ant
Precious Pup
Shag Rugg
Additional voices
Replaced Howard Morris as Atom Ant
1966 The New Alice in Wonderland Dormouse
Fluff
TV special
1966-1967 The Laurel and Hardy Cartoon Show Additional voices
1966-1968 Frankenstein, Jr. and The Impossibles Multi-Man
Perilous Paper Doll Man
The Bubbler
Curly
Jesse James
Alexander the Great
Fero, the Fiendish Fiddler
Satanic Surfer
Terrible Twister
Ackbar the Martian
Anxious Angler
Crafty Clutcher
Bizarre Batter
Additional voices
1966-1968 Space Ghost Blip
Zorak
Sisto
Moltar
Bronty
1967-1969 Shazzan Kaboobie
1968 The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Priest
Tug
"The Magic Shillelah"
1968-1969 The Adventures of Gulliver Eager
Tagg
1968-1970 Wacky Races Muttley
Professor Pat Pending
Ring-a-Ding (Dum-Dum)
Little Gruesome
Dragon
Gravel Slag
1969-1970 The Perils of Penelope Pitstop Dum-Dum
Pockets
Zippy
Snoozy
1969-1970 Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines Muttley
Klunk
Zilly
Yankee Doodle Pidgeon
Muttley's Girlfriend
1969-1971 Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Scooby-Doo
Professor Hide-Whyte
Mr. Wickles
Ebenezer Shark
Phantom
The Great Bluestone
Hank
Sharon's Father
John Maxwell
Mr. Jenkins
Max the Midget
The Mummy
University Professor
Dr. Najib
Witch
Zeb Perkins
Space Cook
Henry Bascombe
Nephew Norville
Fu Lun Chi
White Timberwolf
Policeman
Mask Salesman
Professor Ingstrom
Wax Phantom
Roger Stevens
Mr. Grisby
1969-1971 Cattanooga Cats Hoppy
Smirky
"Around the World in 79 Days" segment
1970 Where's Huddles? Fumbles
1970-1972 Josie and the Pussycats Sebastian
Bleep
Additional voices
1970-1974 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Harvey Kinkle Uncredited
1971 The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show Schleprock
1971 Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch! Hercules the Hippo
Ambassador of Ptomania
"Gobs of Gabaloons"
1972 The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Chu Chu the Dog
1972 Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Harry's Accountant "Expectant Papa"
1972-1973 The New Scooby-Doo Movies Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1973 Inch High, Private Eye The Professor
The Mummy
News Anchor
TV Reporter
Fat Frank
Paperboy
"The Mummy's Curse"
1973 Yogi's Gang Boob-Boo
Atom Ant
Squiddly Diddly
Touché Turtle
Ranger Smith
The Mayor of Smog City
Temper
1973-1975 Bailey's Comets Gabby
1974 Hong Kong Phooey Spot
The Mystery Maverick
Honcho
Additional voices
1974-1975 Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch Scrambles
Officer Fishtail
The Fire Chief
Ranger
1975 The Tom and Jerry Show Spike
Mumbly
Additional voices
Shared the role of Spike with Joe E. Ross
1975 The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow TV special
1976 Jabberjaw Lamp Salesman
The Wizard from the Videobook
"Ali Jabber and the Secret Thieves"
1976 The First Easter Rabbit Jonathan
Whiskers
TV special
1976 Rudolph's Shiny New Year Papa Bear
additional voices
TV special
1976-1977 The Mumbly Cartoon Show Mumbly
1976-1977 Dynomutt, Dog Wonder Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1976-1978 The Scooby-Doo Show Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1977 CB Bears Clyde The Ape
1977 The Skatebirds Scooter Penguin
1977 The Hobbit Balin
Goblin
Lord of the Eagles
Troll #3
TV special
1977-1979 Laff-A-Lympics Scooby-Doo
Mumbly
The Show's Announcer
Boo-Boo Bear
Mr. Creeply
Creeply Jr.
Dastardly Dalton
Pixie
1977-1980 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Additional voices
1978 Challenge of the Super Friends Scarecrow
Additional voices
1978 Casper's First Christmas Boo Boo TV special
1978 Yogi's Space Race additional voices
1978-1979 Godzilla Godzooky
1979 Scooby Goes Hollywood Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
TV Movie
1979 The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone Igor TV Movie
1979 Jack Frost Snip TV special
1979-1980 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979 TV series) Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1980 Yogi's First Christmas Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Herman the Hermit
TV movie
1980 Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? Humboldt TV special
1980-1982 Drak Pack Toad
1980-1982 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Scooby-Doo
Scrappy-Doo
Additional voices
1981-1989 The Smurfs Papa Smurf
Azrael
Dreamy Smurf
Sweepy Smurf
1983-1984 The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show Scooby-Doo
Scrappy-Doo
1984 The Duck Factory Wally Wooster First live action role
1984 The Mighty Orbots Commander Rondu
Crunch
English dub
1984-1987 The Transformers Ratchet
Scavenger
Gears
1985 The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo
Scrappy-Doo
Additional voices
1985 Galtar and the Golden Lance Pandat
1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Professor "Lasers in the Light"
1985 The Pound Puppies Louie
Itchy
TV movie
1985-1986 Paw Paws PaPooch
1985-1987 The Jetsons Astro
R.U.D.I.
U.N.I.B.L.A.B.
Additional voices
1980s revival of the original show
1985-1988 Yogi's Treasure Hunt Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Ricochet Rabbit
Touche Turtle
Ruff
1986 Smurfquest Papa Smurf
Azrael
TV movie
1986-1987 The New Adventures of Jonny Quest Dr. Benton Quest
Bandit
1986-1987 Pound Puppies Red Alert Pup
1987 Popeye and Son Eugene the Jeep
1987 The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones R.U.D.I. TV movie
1987 Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose Boo-Boo
Mumbly
TV Movie
1987 Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers Scooby-Doo
Scrappy-Doo
TV Movie
1987 Yogi's Great Escape Boo-Boo
Ranger Smith
TV Movie
1987 DuckTales Scrooge's Father "Once Upon a Dime"
1987 The Real Ghostbusters Walt Fleischman "Who're You Calling Two-Dimensional?"
1988 Rockin' with Judy Jetson Astro TV Movie
1988 Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
TV Movie
1988 Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School Scooby-Doo
Scrappy-Doo
TV Movie
1988 The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound Boo-Boo Bear
The Narrator
TV Movie
1988 Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf Scooby-Doo
Scrappy-Doo
TV Movie
1988 Fantastic Max King Klutzes "Stitches in Time"
1988 The New Yogi Bear Show Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
1989 A Yabba-Dabba-Doo Celebrition! 50 Years of Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo
1988-1991 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo
Scooby Doo's Dad
Jenkins
News Anchor
Additional voices
1990-1991 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda Sancho Panda
1990-1991 Wake, Rattle, and Roll Boo-Boo Bear
Pixie
Muttley
Lucky the Cat
1990-1994 Tom and Jerry Kids Droopy
Bat Mouse
Additional voices
1990-1995 Tiny Toon Adventures Hamton J. Pig
Dog
Additional voices
1991 Yo Yogi! Boo-Boo Bear
Muttley
Atom Ant
1992 The Plucky Duck Show Hamton J. Pig
1993 Bonkers The Mayor "The Good, The Bad, and the Kanifky"
1993-1994 Droopy, Master Detective Droopy
Additional voices
1993-1994 Garfield and Friends Ludlow
1993 I Yabba-Dabba Do! Policeman TV movie
1993 Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby Baby Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Lot Security Guard
Tour Bus Driver
TV movie
1993 Jonny's Golden Quest Dr. Benton C. Quest
Bandit
TV movie
1994 Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights Scooby-Doo
Boo-Boo Bear
1994 A Flintstones Christmas Carol Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Joe Rockhead
TV movie
1994 Yogi the Easter Bear Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
TV special
1995 2 Stupid Dogs Corporal "Cartoon Canines"
1995 Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects Dr. Benton C. Quest
Bandit
TV movie
1995 Freakazoid! Dr. Vernon Danger "Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet"

Note: Don Messick voiced Scooby-Doo and in the video games: Scooby-Doo Mystery and Illusions Gaming from 1995.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Don Messick Biography (1926-)
  2. ^ a b "Messick Superstar in World of Voices". The Victoria Advocate. March 3, 1985. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ J. David Goldin. "The NBC University Theatre episode guide". radiogoldintex.com. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
Voice Of Scooby-Doo
September 1969—September 1996
Succeeded by
Hadley Kay
Preceded by
None
Voice of Ratchet
1984-1986
Succeeded by
Robert Foxworth