November 2, 1921|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 2, 1999
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Film, television and voice actor|
Menken began his career at the age of 11, when he started appearing on children's radio programs. After high school, Menken attended Columbia University, and later studied performing arts at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre and the Juilliard School of Music. He was not related to actress Helen Menken.
Menken made his film debut in 1949 with a supporting role in The Red Menace, and eventually appeared onscreen in 17 movies. He played a lead role in an episode of the anthology drama television series Police Call, one of the top grossing television series released in 1955. Menken worked steadily as a television actor, appearing on such series as I Love Lucy, I Spy, and The Wild Wild West. He was also in demand as a voice talent, working on animated cartoons for Hanna-Barbera, UPA, and Marvel Productions, as well as advertising spots for StarKist Tuna and Mattel Toys; his was the voice intoning, "The only way to fly!" in Western Airlines' spots in the 1960s. Menken also voiced the Clyde Crashcup character in The Alvin Show. He also voiced the Spelling Bee and Chroma the Great in the 1970 live-action/animated film The Phantom Tollbooth, and provided the voice for the titular character in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. In 1963, Menken formed his own company, Malibu Films, which specialized in educational and industrial films.
Menken died of natural causes on January 2, 1999.
- David and Bathsheba (1951) - Police Guard (uncredited)
- Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953) - Natanquas
- King Richard and the Crusaders (1954) - Muezzin (uncredited)
- "TV Guide Police Call episode - A boxer's faith in "once a champ, always a champ" rouses suspicion after he wins an uneven match". retrieved August 1, 2010.
- "IMBD database Top Grossing TV Series 1955". accessed August 1, 2010.