June Foray

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June Foray
June Foray 1952.JPG
1952 publicity photo of June Foray
Born June Lucille Forer
(1917-09-18) September 18, 1917 (age 97) [1]
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Residence Woodland Hills, California
Education Classical High School
Occupation actress
Years active 1943–present
Notable work Lucifer, Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Witch Hazel, Granny, Jokey Smurf, Natasha Fatale, Nell Fenwick, Magica De Spell among others
Board member of
Spouse(s) Bernard Barondess
(1941-?, divorced)
Hobart Donavan
(1954-1976; his death)

Daytime Emmy Awards
2012 Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
The Garfield Show

Annie Awards
1996 and 1997 Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production
Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries

June Foray (born June Lucille Forer; September 18, 1917)[1] is an American actress, best known as the voice of such animated characters as Lucifer from Cinderella, Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Jokey Smurf, Witch Hazel, Granny, Natasha Fatale, Nell Fenwick and Magica De Spell. Her career has encompassed radio, theatrical shorts, feature films, television, record albums (particularly with Stan Freberg), video games, talking toys and other media. Foray was also one of the early members of ASIFA-Hollywood, the society devoted to promoting and encouraging animation. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring her voice work in television.[2]

Early life[edit]

June Lucille Forer was born in 1917[1] in Springfield, Massachusetts, one of three children of father Maurice and mother Ida.[3] The family resided at 75 Orange Street.[3] Her voice was first broadcast in a local radio drama when she was 12 years old;[4] by age 15, she was doing regular radio voice work.[2] Two years later, after graduating from Classical High School, she moved with her parents and siblings to Los Angeles, California, near Ida's brother, after engineer Maurice fell on hard financial times.[3] After entering radio through the WBZA Players and her own Lady Make Believe show, she soon became a popular voice actress, with regular appearances on coast-to-coast network shows including Lux Radio Theater and The Jimmy Durante Show.[3]

Acting career[edit]

In the 1940s, Foray also began film work, including a few roles in live-action movies, but mostly doing voice overs for animated cartoons and radio programs and occasionally dubbing films and television. On radio, Foray did the voices of Midnight the Cat and Old Grandie the Piano on The Buster Brown Program, which starred Smilin' Ed McConnell, from 1944 to 1952. She later did voices on the Mutual Network program Smile Time for Steve Allen.[4] Her work in radio ultimately led her to recording for a number of children's albums for Capitol Records.[4]

For Walt Disney, Foray voiced Lucifer the Cat in the feature film Cinderella, Lambert's mother in Lambert the Sheepish Lion, a mermaid in Peter Pan and Witch Hazel in animated shorts; decades later, Foray would be the voice of Grandmother Fa in Disney's 1998 Mulan. She also did a variety of voices in Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Impressed by her performance as Witch Hazel, in 1954 Chuck Jones invited her over to Warner Brothers Cartoons.[4] For Warner Brothers she was Granny (whom she has played, on and off, since 1955, taking over for Bea Benaderet), owner of Tweety and Sylvester, and a series of witches, including Looney Tunes' own Witch Hazel, with Jones as director. Like most of Warner Brothers' voice actors at the time, Foray was not credited for her roles in these cartoons.[4]

Foray voice acted on The Smurfs as Jokey Smurf and Mother Nature; voiced Ursula on George of the Jungle; and on How the Grinch Stole Christmas voiced Cindy Lou Who, asking "Santa" why he's taking their tree. She was also the voice of the original "Chatty Cathy" doll.[2] Foray voiced evil characters as well, such as the "Talky Tina" doll in The Twilight Zone episode ("Living Doll") as well as all the female roles in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975), including the villainous cobra Nagaina.

Foray worked for Hanna-Barbera, including on Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Jetsons, The Flintstones and many other shows. In 1959, she auditioned for the part of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones, but the part went to Bea Benaderet; Foray described herself as "terribly disappointed" at not getting to play Betty.[5] She has done extensive voice acting for Stan Freberg's commercials, albums and 1957 radio series, memorably as secretary to the werewolf advertising executive. Foray has also appeared in several Rankin/Bass TV specials in the 1960s and 1970s, voicing the young Karen and the teacher in the TV special Frosty the Snowman (although only her Karen singing parts remained in later airings, after Rankin-Bass reedited the special a few years after it debuted, with Foray's speaking parts re-dubbed with an uncredited voice).[citation needed]

For Jay Ward: she played nearly every female on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, including Natasha Fatale and Nell Fenwick, as well as male lead character Rocket J. Squirrel (a.k.a. Rocky Squirrel). Foray also voiced May Parker in "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" from 1981-1983, as well as Magica De Spell and Ma Beagle in the animated television series DuckTales. At the same time, she also had a leading role voicing Grammi Gummi on Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, working with her Rocky and Bullwinkle co-star Bill Scott until his death in 1985.

Chuck Jones is reported to have said, "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc was the male June Foray."[6]

In the mid-1960s, she became devoted to the preservation and promotion of animation, and has since written numerous magazine articles about animation.[4] In 1988 she was awarded the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. [7] In 1995, ASIFA-Hollywood, a chapter of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (the International Animated Film Association), established the June Foray Award,[8] which is awarded to "individuals who have made a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation." Foray was the first recipient of the award. In 2007, Foray became a contributor to ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Archive Project. In 2007, Britt Irvin became the first person ever to voice a character in a cartoon remake that had been previously voiced by Foray in the original series when she started voicing the character Ursula in the new George of the Jungle cartoon series on the Cartoon Network. In 2011, Roz Ryan voiced Witch Lezah (Hazel spelled backwards) in The Looney Tunes Show, opposite June Foray reprising Granny.

Foray guest starred only once on The Simpsons, in the season-one episode "Some Enchanted Evening", as the receptionist for the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service. This was a play on a Rocky & Bullwinkle gag years earlier in which none of the cartoon's characters, including narrator William Conrad, was able to pronounce "rubber baby buggy bumpers" unerringly. Foray was later homaged in The Simpsons,[citation needed] in the season-eight episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", in which the character June Bellamy is introduced as the voice behind both Itchy and Scratchy. Foray appeared on-camera in a major role only once, in Sabaka as a high priestess of a fire cult. She also appeared on camera in an episode of Green Acres as a Mexican telephone operator. In 1991, she provided her voice as the sock-puppet talk-show host Scary Mary on an episode of Married... with Children. She played gag cameos in both 1992's Boris & Natasha and 2000's The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Another on-camera appearance was in the 1984 TV sitcom The Duck Factory, which starred Jim Carrey and Don Messick.

Foray was often called for ADR voice work for television and feature films. This work included dubbing the voice of Mary Badham in The Twilight Zone episode "The Bewitchin' Pool" and the voices for Sean and Michael Brody in some scenes of the film Jaws. June Foray also dubbed several people in Bells Are Ringing, Diana Rigg in some scenes of The Hospital, Robert Blake in drag in an episode of Baretta and a little boy in The Comic.

Foray at the 2014 Annie Awards

In 1996 and 1997, Foray won the Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production for her work in Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. In 2000, Foray reprised her role as Rocky the Flying Squirrel in Universal Pictures' live-action/CGI animated film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, co-starring and produced by Robert De Niro. On Season Three, Episode One ("The Thin White Line") of Family Guy, Foray again reprised her role as Rocky in a visual gag with a single line ("And now, here's something we hope you'll really like!"). Foray voiced the wife of the man getting dunked ("Don't tell him, Carlos!") in Pirates of the Caribbean. Around 2003, she guest starred as the villain Madame Argentina in The Powerpuff Girls episode "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future". During this time, Foray also had a regular role, reprising Granny on Baby Looney Tunes and Witch Hazel in an episode of another Warner Bros. Television Animation production Duck Dodgers.

In October 2006, she portrayed Susan B. Anthony on three episodes of the podcast The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. In November 2009, Foray appeared twice on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: in one episode as Ruth, a pie-maker trapped in Bubbie's stomach, and in another episode as Kelly, a young boy having a birthday party and as Kelly's Mom and Captain K'Nuckles' kindergarten teacher.

In 2011, Foray reprised her role as Granny in Cartoon Network's new series, The Looney Tunes Show. That year, she received the Comic-Con Icon Award at the 2011 Scream Awards. She also appeared as Granny in the theatrically released Looney Tunes short, I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, which was shortlisted for Academy Award consideration[9]

In 2012, Foray received her first Emmy nomination, and won in the category of Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for her role as Mrs. Cauldron on The Garfield Show.[10] She thus became, at age 94, the oldest entertainer to be nominated for and to win an Emmy Award. [11] Foray also reprised her role of Rocky the Flying Squirrel in a Rocky and Bullwinkle short film, which was released in 2014.[12]

In September 2013, she was honored with the Governors Award at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.[13] That same year, she reprised her role as Magica De Spell in the video game DuckTales Remastered.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Foray married Bernard Barondess in 1941.[15] The marriage ended in divorce. She met Hobart Donavan on The Buster Brown Program on radio. He was the main writer and had also written The Buster Brown comic book. Foray married Donavan in 1954; he died in 1976.[16]


  • Foray, June (2006). Perverse, Adverse and Rottenverse. Albany, New York: BearManor Media. ISBN 1-59393-020-8
  • Foray, June (2009). Did You Grow Up With Me, Too? The Autobiography of June Foray. Albany, New York: BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-461-3


  1. ^ a b c 1920 U.S. census. Most sources agree, but some sources have cited 1918, 1919 and 1920 as her year of birth.
  2. ^ a b c Clare, Nancy (June 18, 2010). "June Foray". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Urban, Cori (May 18, 2012). "June Foray nominated for Emmy; voice legend behind Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Dorf, Shel (January 1988). "June Foray". Comics Interview (54) (Fictioneer Books). pp. 52–59. 
  5. ^ Heintjes, Tom. "Excavating Bedrock: Reminiscences of 'The Flintstones'" Hogan's Alley #9 (January 16, 2013)
  6. ^ Evanier, Mark (June 2000). "The Remarkable June Foray". Animation World Magazine. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award" on the San Diego Comic-Con International website
  8. ^ "June Foray Award". Annie Awards. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ "10 Animated Shorts Move Ahead in 2011 Oscar Race". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Daytime Emmy Nominations". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Arbeiter, Michael. "Emmys: 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' Voice Actor June Foray Wins the Governors Award" Hollywood.com (August 29, 2013)
  12. ^ Rob Paulsen's Talkin Toons podcast
  13. ^ "June Foray to be Honored with Governors Award" Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website (August 29, 2013)
  14. ^ DuckTales: Remastered (2013) at IMDB.com
  15. ^ "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K8VV-F94 : accessed 18 May 2013), Bernard Barondess and June Lucille Forer, 1941.
  16. ^ "June Foray". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. 

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