John Fiedler

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John Fiedler
John Fiedler.png
Fiedler in the Star Trek episode
"Wolf in the Fold"
Born John Donald Fiedler
(1925-02-03)February 3, 1925
Platteville, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died June 25, 2005(2005-06-25) (aged 80)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Cause of death
Cancer
Resting place
Cremated, Ashes scattered off Long Island, New York
Occupation voice and character actor
Years active 1949–2005

John Donald Fiedler (February 3, 1925 – June 25, 2005) was an American voice actor and character actor who was slight, balding, and bespectacled, with a distinctive, high-pitched voice. His career lasted more than 55 years in stage, film, television and radio. He is best known for four roles: the nervous Juror #2 in 12 Angry Men; the voice of Piglet in Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh productions; Vinnie, the meek poker player in the film version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple; and Mr. Peterson, the hen-pecked milquetoast on The Bob Newhart Show.

Early life

Fiedler was born in Platteville, Wisconsin, a son of Donald Fiedler, a beer salesman, and his wife Margaret Phelan.[1] He moved to Shorewood, Wisconsin, at the age of 5, where he graduated from Shorewood High School in 1943. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and served until the end of World War II.[2]

Acting career

After his discharge from the Navy, Fiedler began acting in New York City, appearing on the radio comedy The Aldrich Family as Homer Brown, appeared on early television and was very popular as Cadet Alfie Higgins on the 1950s show Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and made his film debut in 1957 in 12 Angry Men, as Juror #2. Most of his roles were playing gentle or nervous individuals, though he appeared in the original Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" as Mr. Hengist, a Chief Administrator possessed by the spirit of Jack the Ripper.

Fiedler was in the original cast of A Raisin in the Sun (as housing committee representative Lindner, which he would play in both the 1961 film version and the 1988 TV version), and The Odd Couple (as poker player Vinnie). He appeared in the films True Grit, The Cannonball Run, and Harper Valley PTA. His many guest appearances on TV included Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, My Favorite Martian, Bewitched, Get Smart, The Rockford Files, Star Trek, The Golden Girls and Cheers. He had a recurring role on Kolchak: The Night Stalker as morgue attendant Gordy "The Ghoul" Spangler. He also played Mr. Peterson, one of Bob's regular patients, on the The Bob Newhart Show, and Mr. Dundee in the 47th episode of the Twilight Zone, "The Night of the Meek". Fiedler's voice was heard or appears in the Disney features The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, Robin Hood, The Emperor's New Groove, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Rascal, The Shaggy D.A., and in the Square Enix/Disney video game Kingdom Hearts. His last film was a voice appearance in Kronk's New Groove. In 1988, Fiedler was the narrator of a McDonald's commercial where Birdie the early bird learns to fly.

Death

Unmarried,[3] Fiedler died of cancer on June 25, 2005 in Englewood, New Jersey, at the Lillian Booth Actors Home, a residence for retired entertainers sponsored by the Actors' Fund of America, only one day after the death of his good friend, Paul Winchell, who was the voice of another Winnie-the-Pooh character, Tigger. After Fiedler's death, Travis Oates took over for the role.[4]

References

Notes
  1. ^ John Fiedler Biography (1925-)
  2. ^ O'Donnell, Michelle. "John Fiedler, 80, Stage Actor and Film Voice of Pooh's Piglet, Dies", New York Times, June 27, 2005. Accessed December 15, 2007. "He graduated from Shorewood High School in 1943 and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving stateside until World War II's end."
  3. ^ Wisconsin Blue Book
  4. ^ Bernstein, Adam. "Actor John Fiedler Dies; Was Piglet's Voice in 'Pooh' Films", The Washington Post. June 28, 2005. Accessed December 15, 2007. "John Fiedler, 80, a stage, film and television actor who excelled at meek or nervous roles and was personally chosen by Walt Disney to play the voice of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh films, died June 25 at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home in Englewood, N.J."

External links