Bill Scott (voice actor)
Scott holding one of his drawings, 1962.
William John Scott
August 2, 1920
|Died||November 29, 1985 (aged 65)|
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Occupation||Voice actor, writer, producer|
(m. 1943–1985; his death)
William John Scott (August 2, 1920 – November 29, 1985) was an American voice actor, writer and producer for animated cartoons, primarily associated with Jay Ward and UPA, as well as one of the founding members of ASIFA-Hollywood.
Scott was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 2, 1920. The family later moved to Trenton, New Jersey, and in 1936 to Denver, Colorado. Scott graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in English.
During World War II he served in the U.S. Army's First Motion Picture Unit (reporting to Lt. Ronald Reagan), where he worked with such animators as Frank Thomas. After the war, he became what was then known as a "story man" at Warner Bros., working under director Arthur Davis. After a job as a writer on Bob Clampett's "Time For Beany" TV puppet show, he later worked at the cutting-edge studio United Productions of America where he was one of the writers who adapted Dr. Seuss's original story for the 1950 Academy Award-winning short Gerald McBoing-Boing, which later became a television show, as well as adapting the 1953 Academy Award-nominated short film of Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart.
Scott began work as a voice actor as well when he joined Jay Ward as head writer and co-producer, and voice acted in such television series as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (most notably as Bullwinkle and Mister Peabody, as well as Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle). In a 1982 interview, Scott said, "I got a call from Jay [Ward] asking if I'd be interested in writing another series, an adventure script with a moose and a squirrel. I said, 'Sure.' I didn't know if I could write an adventure with a moose and a squirrel, but I never turned down a job." Scott never received an on-screen credit for his voice acting on any of the Ward series.
He also wrote many commercials for General Mills because General Mills had financed much of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and the Quaker Oats Company, most notably those for Cap'n Crunch cereal. The voice of Rocky, Nell Fenwick and many of the feminine roles were performed by June Foray, although Scott's wife Dorothy voiced several female parts as well.
Scott also starred on George of the Jungle as George, Super Chicken, and Tom Slick, as well as Fractured Flickers and Hoppity Hooper. Scott also had done live-action acting on the television show The Duck Factory which starred Jim Carrey, as well as featuring noted voice actors Don Messick and Frank Welker. In the episode "The Annie Awards", Scott plays the emcee at an award ceremony for cartoonists.
Scott was a member of the Screen Cartoonist's Guild of which he was President in 1952. He was also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and was elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Toward the end of his career, Scott worked for Walt Disney Studios, where he voiced Moosel on The Wuzzles, and was Gruffi Gummi, Sir Tuxford, and Toadwart, aka Toadie in Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears (he was succeeded by Corey Burton, Roger C. Carmel, and Brian Cummings after his death). Gummi Bears, his last role, had also reunited him with June Foray, his Rocky and Bullwinkle co-star. Scott was also a fine singer and performer, active with a Little Theatre group in Tujunga called the Foothill Curtain Raisers, and an ambitious church theater, the Ascension Players. He was a member of the choir at Ascension Episcopal Church, Tujunga, and was especially well known for his talents interpreting Gilbert and Sullivan as a member of the Cañada-Savoy G&S troupe in La Cañada, CA. He did much to encourage aspiring actors and musicians. He donated great amounts of time to tutoring young people in difficulty.
Scott died of a heart attack at age 65 on November 29, 1985 in Tujunga, Los Angeles, California. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy, and their three children. Because of this, further episodes and seasons of The Wuzzles were canceled, and Scott's roles in Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears were all recast with different actors.
- Camia, Catalina (December 1, 1985). "Bill Scott, Bullwinkle's Voice, Dies at 65". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Bullwinkle Speaks! An Interview With Bill Scott, Hogan's Alley #17, 2010
- "Bill Scott, Writer and Voice For 'Rocky and His Friends'". The New York Times. United Press International. December 2, 1985.