Janet Waldo

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Janet Waldo
Janet Waldo in 2013
Janet Waldo
Born (1924-02-04) February 4, 1924 (age 90)
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1938–present
Spouse(s) Robert Edwin Lee
(1948–1994, his death),
Two children

Janet Waldo (born February 4, 1924)[1] is an American actress, prolific in voice over roles with a career encompassing radio, television, animation and live-action films. She is best known in animation for voicing Judy Jetson, Jenny in The Space Kidettes, Penelope Pitstop and Josie McCoy in Josie and the Pussycats. She was equally famed for radio's Meet Corliss Archer, a title role with which she was so identified that she was drawn into the comic book adaptation.

Early life[edit]

Waldo's mother was a singer trained at the Boston Conservatory of Music, and her father was a descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Her sister, Elisabeth Waldo, is a leading authority on pre-Columbian music and an award-winning composer-violinist who appeared in the film Song of Mexico (1945).[2]

Growing up, Janet Waldo had a love of acting and the theatre from an early age and performed in plays at her church. She attended the University of Washington, where her performance in a student theatrical garnered her an award and brought her to the attention of Bing Crosby. A Paramount Pictures talent scout, who was with Crosby at the time, signed Waldo for a screen test, which led to a contract with the studio.[3]

Radio, films and TV[edit]

Al Feldstein, later the editor of Mad, was a writer-illustrator of the Meet Corliss Archer comic book. Waldo was depicted on the front cover twice, as herself and as Corliss.

Waldo appeared in several dozen films in uncredited bit parts and small roles, although she was the leading lady in three Westerns, two of them starring Tim Holt. Her big break came in radio with a part on Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theater. In her radio career, she lent her voice to many programs, including Edward G. Robinson's Big Town, The Eddie Bracken Show, Favorite Story, Four Star Playhouse, The Gallant Heart, One Man's Family, Sears Radio Theater and Stars over Hollywood. She co-starred with Jimmy Lydon in the CBS situation comedy Young Love (1949–50), and she had recurring roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (as teenager Emmy Lou), The Red Skelton Show and People Are Funny.

However, it was her eight-year run starring as teenager Corliss Archer on CBS's Meet Corliss Archer that left a lasting impression, even though Shirley Temple starred in the film adaptations, Kiss and Tell and A Kiss for Corliss. The radio program was the CBS answer to NBC's popular A Date with Judy. Despite the long run of Meet Corliss Archer, less than 24 episodes are known to exist. Waldo later turned down the offer to portray Corliss in a television adaptation.[3]

In 1948 the Meet Corliss Archer comic book, using Waldo's likeness, published by Fox Feature Syndicate, appeared for a run of three issues from March to July 1948, using the original scripts.[4] The same year, Waldo married playwright Robert Edwin Lee, the writing partner of Jerome Lawrence. The couple had two children, and remained married until his death in 1994.

Waldo made a rare on-screen television appearance when she appeared as Peggy, a teen smitten with Ricky Ricardo on a 1952 episode of I Love Lucy titled "The Young Fans" with Richard Crenna. Ten years later, Waldo again worked with Lucille Ball, this time playing Lucy Carmichael's sister, Marge, on The Lucy Show. That episode was titlted "Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit". She also appeared on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show as Amanda. In addition, Waldo reprised the role of Emmy Lou for some early TV episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Later, she was the female lead opposite Anthony Franciosa in the short-lived sitcom Valentine's Day (1964).

Animation[edit]

In television animation, she provided the voice of Judy Jetson in all versions of the Hanna-Barbera television cartoon The Jetsons. Waldo is the last surviving main cast member of The Jetsons series.

Waldo also provided voices for Nancy in Shazzan, Granny Sweet in The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show, Josie in Josie and the Pussycats, Penelope Pitstop in both, Wacky Races and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and guest-starred in Thundarr the Barbarian as the witch, Circe in the episode, Island of The Body Snatchers. Further guest starring roles, include Beth Crane, a descendant of Ichabod Crane, in the episode The Headless Horseman of Halloween, from the The Scooby-Doo Show in 1976. In 1977, she provided the lead guest voice in the episode titled To Switch a Witch which paid a somewhat out of left field homage to the witches of Salem.

She and Gary Owens are the only surviving cast members of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. She did the voice of Morticia Addams in the short-lived 1973 cartoon series adaptation of The Addams Family. She was also the voice of Princess and Susan in Battle of the Planets and Hogatha on The Smurfs.

Later life[edit]

In 1990, shortly after completing her role as Judy Jetson in Jetsons: The Movie, she was abruptly replaced with pop star Tiffany. It had been an executive Universal/RCA Victor decision, which made the casting director of the film Andrea Romano, who called it "a huge mistake on so many levels", ask for her name to be removed from the credit list so as to avoid getting hate mail, which she eventually did receive. The voice director Gordon Hunt had even asked Tiffany to try to make her voice sound more like Waldo's.

Janet Waldo was heartbroken and confused as to why after she had made promotional appearances for the film, they would replace her with the singer, whose voice register is very different from her own. Ultimately, the actress did patch things up with Hanna-Barbera and continued acting on their television series. The movie version of The Jetsons was a box-office flop and a critical failure with most of the negative reviews directed at Tiffany's acting and the replacement of the original voice of Judy Jetson.[3][5] The film even ended up on Siskel and Ebert's "Worst of 1990" list.

In 1998, Waldo guest-starred as Mrs. Tobbis on an episode of King of the Hill and later, reprised her role as Penelope Pitstop on the 2000 Wacky Races video game.

She currently provides the voice for the character Joanne Allen in Focus on the Family's weekly Adventures in Odyssey, a radio drama series heard on more than 1,600 radio stations throughout North America. She can also be heard many times a day as Grandmother in the fourth scene of Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World. Recently, she was interviewed about her career for the documentary I Know That Voice.

Filmography[edit]

Radio, films, live-action and voice over television roles[edit]

Radio
Original Air Date Program Episode Role
1941 Big Town Various
1941-1943 The Lux Radio Theatre Multiple radio adaptations Various
1941-1945 One Man's Family Irene Franklin
1942, 1948 Dr. Christian 2 episodes Nurse Judy Price
March 3, 1943 and March 31, 1943 Mayor of the Town Additional voices
1943 The Charlotte Greenwood Show Barbara Barton
1943-1945 Cavalcade of America Additional voices
June 29, 1944 The Dinah Shore Program Various
1944-1945 Lady Of The Press - Sandra Martin Sandra Martin
1944-1954 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Emmy Lou
1944 The Gallant Heart Jennifer Lake
1945 Major Bowes' Shower Of Stars Janet
1945-1947 The Eddie Bracken Show Eddie's girlfriend
1945-1952 People are Funny Raleigh Cigarette Girl
1946 Request Performance "Abbott/Costello" Janet
1946-1948 Favorite Story Various
1946-1956 Meet Corliss Archer Corliss Archer
1947 The Fabulous Dr. Tweedy Mary Potts
The Camel Screen Guild Theatre "The Secret Heart" Girl
The Great Gildersleeve 8 episodes Joanne Piper
1948 The Mel Torme Show Mel's girlfriend
Family Theatre 2 episodes Various
1949 Screen Directors Playhouse "The Exile" and "The Best Years Of Our Lives" Katie and Peggy Stephenson
Errand Of Mercy "Help For A Fighter" Girl
Philco Radio Time Dennis Day's Date
1949-1950 Young Love Janet
1950 The Halls of Ivy Additional voices
1951 My Favorite Husband Girl
1951-1953 The Railroad Hour Various
1954 Stars Over Hollywood "Miss Nettie" Lovely woman
1958-1964 Heartbeat Theatre Multiple episodes Various
1961 Whispering Streets Narrator
1973 The Hollywood Radio Theater Multiple episodes Various
1975 CBS Radio Mystery Theater Multiple episodes Various
1979-1980 Sears Radio Theater Multiple episodes Various characters
1979 Alien Worlds "The Keeper Of Eight" Various
1992-2012 Adventures in Odyssey Joanne Allen, Maureen Hodges
Film
Year Film Role Notes
1938 Cocoanut Grove Girl Uncredited
Hunted Man Bit Part Uncredited
Sing You Sinners Bit Part Uncredited
The Arkansas Traveler Townsgirl Uncredited
Tom Sawyer, Detective Ruth Phelps
Zaza Simone
1939 Disbarred Bit Part Uncredited
Paris Honeymoon Village girl Uncredited
Person in Hiding Ruth Waldron
Cafe Society Girl Uncredited
I'm from Missouri hat check girl Uncredited
Unmarried Secretary Uncredited
Undercover Doctor Bridesmaid Uncredited
The Gracie Allen Murder Case Cigarette girl Uncredited
Grand Jury Secrets hat check girl Uncredited
The Star Maker Stella
Honeymoon in Bali Fortune Girl's Companion Uncredited
What a Life Gwen
All Women Have Secrets Doris
Our Neighbours - The Carters Receptionist Uncredited
1940 Parole Fixer Switchboard Operator Uncredited
The Farmer's Daughter Switchboard Operator Uncredited
Adventure in Diamonds Telephone Operator Uncredited
If I Had My Way Miss Courtney Uncredited
Waterloo Bridge Elsa
The Way Of All Flesh hat check girl Uncredited
One Man's Law Joyce Logan
Those Were the Days! Miss Willowboughy Uncredited
Rhythm on the River Westlake's Receptionist Uncredited
1941 So Ends Our Night Jacqueline Uncredited
Silver Stallion Janice Walton
The Bandit Trail Ellen Grant
1942 Land of the Open Range Mary Cook
1966 The Man Called Flintstone Roberta
Nurse #2
Nurse #3
Animated feature-length film
1972 A Christmas Story Additional voices Television film
1978 Fantastic Planet Additional voices English dub
1982 Heidi's Song Tinette Animated
1987 The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones Judy Jetson
Cogswell's Female Computer
Animated
Alice Through the Looking Glass Alice Animated
1990 The Jetsons: The Movie Robot secretary Animated
1993 Once Upon a Forest Edgar's Mom Animated
1994 The Return of Jafar Peasant Mother Animated
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1952 I Love Lucy Peggy Dawson "The Young Fans"
1953-1965 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Janet Series Regular
1955 The Phil Silvers Show Hazel "The Eating Contest" (uncredited)
1958 The Huckleberry Hound Show Additional voices
1962-1963 The Jetsons Judy Jetson Series Regular
1962 Saints and Sinners Marion Simmons "Daddy's Girl"
1962-1966 The Flintstones Pearl Slaghoople
Pebbles Flintstone as an adult
Additional voices
1963 The Lucy Show Marge "Lucy's Sister Pays a Visit"
The Andy Griffith Show Amanda "A Wife For Andy"
1964 The Magilla Gorilla Show Hunnybun Punkin' Puss and Mushmouse segment
"Courtin' Disaster"
Jonny Quest Airport P.A.
Stewardess
"The Riddle of the Gold"
1964-1965 Valentine's Day Libby Freeman Series Regular
1965 Please Don't Eat the Daisies Miss Reece "It's Lad by a Nose"
The Secret Squirrel Show Additional voices
Get Smart Telephone Operator "All in the Mind"
1966 The F.B.I. Arlene Morgan "The Baby Sitter"
Petticoat Junction Violet Bentley "Young Love"
Alice in Wonderland (or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?) Alice TV Movie
The Adventures of Superboy Lana Lang
Laurel and Hardy Additional voices
1966-1967 The Space Kidettes Jenny Series Regular
1967 The Fantastic Four Princess Pearla "The Micro World of Dr. Doom"
Abbott & Costello Cartoon Additional voices
1967-1968 The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show Granny Sweet Precious Pupp segment
1967-1969 Shazzan Nancy Series Regular
1968 The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Anointed Maiden of the Sacrifice 2 episodes
Sally Sargent Sally Sargent TV Short
1968-1970 Wacky Races Penelope Pitstop Series Regular
1969-1971 The Perils of Penelope Pitstop Penelope Pitstop Series Regular
1970 Julia Mrs, Appleton "Call Me by My Rightful Number"
1970-1971 Josie and the Pussycats Josie McCoy Series Regular
1971 Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch! Pipsqueak The Mouse "Love Bug Bungle"
Funky Phantom Lori Elwood
1972 The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Additional voices
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space Josie McCoy Series Regular
1972-1973 Around the World in 80 Days Belinda Maze Series Regular
1973 The New Scooby Doo Movies Grandmama Addams/Josie McCoy "Wednesday is Missing" and "The Haunted Showboat"
Speed Buggy Additional voices
The Addams Family (1973 animated series) Morticia Addams
Grandmama
Series Regular
1973-1974 Inch High, Private Eye Additional voices
1973-1975 Jeannie Mrs. Anders Series Regular
1974 Hong Kong Phooey The Mayor's Wife "Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakery Man"
1975 The Tiny Tree Little Girl
Lady Bird
TV short
1976 Jabberjaw The Queen of Atlantis "Atlantis, Get Lost"
1976-1978 The Scooby-Doo Show Lisa Vanhoff
Beth Crane
Melissa Wilcox
3 episodes
1977 CB Bears Additional voices
1978-1985 Battle of the Planets Princess
Susan
Mala
Series Regular
1979-1980 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Additional voices
1979 Gulliver's Travels Additional voice characters TV Movie
The New Fred and Barney Show Additional voices
1980 Yogi's First Christmas Cindy Bear TV movie
The Trouble with Miss Switch Miss Switch ABC Weekend Special episode
1981 Thundarr the Barbarian Circe "Island of the Body Snatchers"
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Shanna the She-Devil
Zerona
Additional voices
3 episodes
Unico West Wind English dub
Daniel Boone Additional voices TV Movie
1981-1989 The Smurfs Hogatha
1982 Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper Murray's Wife
Lady on the Street
Bus Deport PA voice
TV Movie
The Adventures of the Little Prince Danya
Rose Girl
1982 English dub
1983 Puppy's Further Adventures Tommy's Mother
Alvin and the Chipmunks Stella
Unico Maho No Shima West Wind English dub
Beauty and The Beast Beauty
Jacqueline
Queen
Additional voices
TV Movie
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show Additional voices
1983-1984 The Dukes Additional voices
Rubik, the Amazing Cube Additional voices
1983-1986 Mr. T Additional voices
1984 Yogi's Treasure Hunt Cindy Bear
Little Red Ridding Hood
Witch
Gretel
2 episodes
1985-1987 The Jetsons Judy Jetson
Additional voices
Series Regular
1988 Rockin' with Judy Jetson Judy Jetson Alternative title: "Judy Jetson and the Rockers"
1989 Dink, the Little Dinosaur Woman Dinosaur
1990-1994 Tom and Jerry Kids Additional voices
1993 I Yabba-Dabba Do! Pearl Slaghoople
Additional voices
TV Film
Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby Pearl Slaghoople TV Film
1993-1994 Droopy, Master Detective Additional voices
1998 King of the Hill Mrs. Tobbis "Pretty, Pretty Dresses"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Voice Chasers
  2. ^ Elisabeth Waldo
  3. ^ a b c Eder, Bruce "Janet Waldo" (Allmovie biography)
  4. ^ Victor S. Fox, Publisher
  5. ^ "For Some Readers, Tiffany Is No Jetson". The Los Angeles Times. July 15, 1990. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 

External links[edit]