Don Messick

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Don Messick
Don Messick.jpg
Born Donald Earl Messick
(1926-09-07)September 7, 1926
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Died October 24, 1997(1997-10-24) (aged 71)
Salinas, California, U.S.
Cause of death Stroke
Resting place Cremated
Occupation Voice actor
Years active 1941–1996
Known for Original voice of Scooby–Doo
Notable work Hanna-Barbera
Spouse(s) Helen M. McHugh (m. 1949–97)[1]
Children 2

Donald Earl "Don" Messick (September 7, 1926 – October 24, 1997) was an American voice actor, best known for his voice over roles for Hanna-Barbera.[1]

His best-remembered vocal creations include Scooby-Doo, Bamm-Bamm Rubble and Hoppy in The Flintstones, Astro in The Jetsons, Muttley in Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Sebastian the cat in Josie and the Pussycats; Gears, Ratchet, and Scavenger in The Transformers, Papa Smurf in The Smurfs, and Dr. Benton Quest in Jonny Quest.

Early life[edit]

Messick was born Donald Earl Messick in Buffalo, New York, the son of Binford Earl Messick, a house painter, and Lena Birch (née Hughes).[1]


At first, Messick wanted to be a ventriloquist, and even supported himself as one for a time. His big break came in the mid-1940s. His first major voice over role was as Raggedy Andy on the radio series The Raggedy Ann Show.[2]

At MGM, Tex Avery was producing the Droopy cartoons. The regular voice actor Bill Thompson was not available. Daws Butler, who voiced characters for MGM, suggested that Avery seek out Messick, and so, he was hired to voice Droopy.

He and Butler became a voice acting team for Hanna-Barbera when they formed their own animation studio in 1957. Their first collaboration was Ruff and Reddy. Don was Ruff the cat and the Droopy-sounding Professor Gizmo, while Daws Butler played the southern-speaking dog, Reddy. Messick also narrated the show, which played out like an animated soap opera. From 1958-1959, Messick played Tadpole in the animated television series produced by Beverly Hills Productions, Spunky and Tadpole.

From 1957-1965, Butler and Messick gave voice to a large number of characters. Always the sidekick, Messick’s characters were not headliners. His notable roles in this era were Boo Boo Bear, Ranger Smith, Major Minor, Pixie Mouse, Astro and Dr. Benton Quest.

He was used primarily for his narration skills, which were heard on many of those cartoons in which Daws Butler starred. In narrating the The Huckleberry Hound Show's Yogi Bear cartoons, he played Ranger Smith in something close to his natural voice.

Messick would eventually star as Ricochet Rabbit in Ricochet Rabbit (1964–65), while Deputy Droop-a-Long was voiced by Mel Blanc. He did the voices of the title character in Precious Pupp and Shag Rugg from Hillbilly Bears. Both segments from The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show. In 1966, Messick took over the roles of Atom Ant and Mr. Peebles of The Magilla Gorilla Show from Howard Morris who had left Hanna-Barbera.

In outer space cartoons, Don Messick created noises and sounds for weird space creatures and aliens. His Ranger Smith voice was often heard as various space villains. His narrator voice was given to Vapor Man, Dr. Benton Quest, The Perilous Paper Doll Man, and Multi Man.

Scooby-Doo and later roles[edit]

In 1969, he was cast as the cowardly canine Scooby-Doo on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. He voiced him through all of the various versions of Scooby-Doo: on television in numerous formats from 1969 to 1985, four television films, and a number of commercials as well. In 1970, he voiced Sebastian on Josie and the Pussycats, and reprised the role in its spin-off Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space two years later, as well as voicing the new alien character, Bleep. From 1980-1988, he voiced Scooby's nephew, Scrappy-Doo, having taken over the role originated by Lennie Weinrib in 1979 and was still voicing Scooby-Doo when A Pup Named Scooby-Doo came along from 1988-1991.

In Hong Kong Phooey, he was the voice of Spot the cat, a faithful sidekick who was the one who foiled the villain's plans, though he let the clueless title character take the glory. In 1977, Don Messick lent his vocal talents to several characters in the first animated adaptation of The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

By the 1970s, the popularity of Yogi Bear led to several spin-off TV series and television movies featuring the character. Messick reprised his roles of Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith from the 1970s up until 1994 on Yogi's Gang, Laff-a-Lympics, Yogi's Treasure Hunt and The New Yogi Bear Show.

He played Papa Smurf on The Smurfs from 1981-1989 and Ratchet (the Autobot doctor), Gears, and Constructicon Scavenger on The Transformers. In 1985, new episodes of The Jetsons were produced and Messick returned as Astro, RUDI, Mac and Uniblab, a pesky robot that worked for Mr. Spacely.

He also starred in the Masters of the Universe Golden Book video as He-Man.[citation needed] In 1985, he voiced Louie and Snichey in The Pound Puppies TV Special, in 1988, he had an uncredited role as the Pimp of the Year pageant announcer on I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, and he returned to his role of Benton Quest on The New Adventures of Jonny Quest (1986-1987).

Messick also played a rare on-camera role on the MTM Enterprises sitcom Duck Factory, playing a cartoon voice actor named Wally Wooster. In one episode, frequent collaborator Frank Welker guest-starred as a rival voice artist angling for his job. Don Messick said of his character on the show: "Wally was never quite sure whether he was Wally or Dippy Duck".[2]

From 1990-1995, he voiced Hamton J. Pig in Amblin's Tiny Toon Adventures and its spin-offs. Around that time, he also returned as the voice of Droopy for Tom & Jerry Kids and Droopy, Master Detective. On the 1995 Freakazoid! episode "Toby Danger/Doomsday Bet", a spoof of Jonny Quest, he played Dr. Vernon Danger, a parody of his own Dr. Benton Quest.

At a charity speaking engagement in London, shortly before his death, he performed many of his characters, except Scooby-Doo. He claimed that giving up smoking had robbed him of the rasp in the voice that he needed.

Retirement and death[edit]

In late September 1996, Messick suffered a stroke while recording voices at Hanna-Barbera.

On October 12, 1996, he had a "retirement party" at his favorite Chinese restaurant (Joe Barbera personally sent a limo to Messick and his wife, and the two were chauffeured). Many of his companions and peers during his career who had come to pay tribute to him included Henry Corden, Casey Kasem, Lucille Bliss, Maurice LaMarche, Gregg Berger, Neil Ross, June Foray, Sharon Mack, Greg Burson, Walker Edmiston, Marvin Kaplan, Gary Owens, Howard Morris, Teresa Ganzel, Jean Vander Pyl and Myrtis Martin Butler (Daws' widow).

Messick suffered a second stroke and died on October 24, 1997. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at the Point Lobos State Reserve.


Since his death, Hadley Kay (who voiced Scooby in the Johnny Bravo crossover episode), Scott Innes and Frank Welker have all played the role of Scooby-Doo. In 1998, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island was dedicated to his memory. In 2011, Jonathan Winters (who voiced Grandpa Smurf in the television series) became Messick's successor as the voice of Papa Smurf in The Smurfs and its 2013 sequel. Winters died after finishing his work on the latter film.



Year Title Role Notes References
1941-1943 Salsbury, MD [1]
1946 Spotlight Playhouse "Genius From Hoboken"
1946-1947 The Raggedy Ann Show Raggedy Andy
December 26, 1948 NBC University Theatre Mouse "Alice in Wonderland" [3]
1949 Let George Do It Mark Gumple the Contractor "Out Of Mind"
1965 Horizons West "Down The Missouri To St. Louis"


Year Title Role Notes
1949 The House of Tomorrow Kitchen Narrator Uncredited
1949 Wags To Riches Droopy Uncredited
1950 The Chump Champ Droopy Uncredited
1956 Millionaire Droopy Droopy Uncredited
1959-1965 Loopy De Loop Hansel
Baby Gorilla
Bounty Hunter
Robin Hood
Farmer's Dog
Quincy's Dog
1964 Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
1966 The Man Called Flintstone Doctor
Additional voices
1970 Pufnstuf Freddy the Flute
Googy Gopher
Orson Vulture
1971 The Andromeda Strain Alarm Voice
1971 Diamonds are Forever Announcer at Circus Circus Uncredited
1973 Charlotte's Web Jeffrey
1974 Journey Back to Oz Toto
1979 Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July Sam Spangles
1980 The Return of the King Théoden
The Mouth of Sauron
TV movie
1982 The Flight of Dragons Giles of the Treetops
Lo Tae Zhao
1982 The Last Unicorn The Cat
1986 The Transformers: The Movie Gears Scenes deleted
1990 Jetsons: The Movie Astro
1992 Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation Hampton J. Pig
Radio Announcer
Direct-to-video film
1992 Tom and Jerry: The Movie Droopy


Year Title Role Notes
1949 The House of Tomorrow Narrator Short; Uncredited
1949-1950 Buffalo Billy Additional voices
1951 The Aventures of Mr. Patches Mr. Patches
1952 Time For Beany Narrator
1953 Thunderbolt and Wondercolt Additional voices
1954 The Willy The Wolf Show Additional voices
1957-1960 Ruff and Reddy Ruff
Professor Gizmo
Ubble Ubble
Additional voices
First work for Hanna-Barbera
1958-1959 The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole Tadpole First and Second Season
1958-1962 The Huckleberry Hound Show Pixie
Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Ding-a-Ling Wolf
1959-1965 Different TV Shorts Additional voices
1959-1962 The Quick Draw McGraw Show Narrator
Horse-Face Harry
Additional voices
1969-1961 Manty's Funday Funnies Additional voices
1960-1966 The Flintstones Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Arnold the Newsboy
Additional voices
In Seasons 2-6 (1961-1966)
1961-1962 The Yogi Bear Show Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Major Minor
Additional voices
1961-1962 Top Cat Beau
Dr. Dawson
1962 The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series Mr. Twiddle
1962-1963 The Jetsons Astro
Additional voices
1962-1963 Wally Gator Mr. Twiddle
1963-1967 The Magilla Gorilla Show Mr. Peebles
Additional voices
Replaced Howard Morris as Mr. Peebles in Season 4 (1966-1967)
1963-1965 Peter Potamus So-So
Additional voices
1964-1965 Jonny Quest Dr. Benton Quest
1964 The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo Additional voices
1964-1965 Ricochet Rabbit & Droop-a-Long Ricochet Rabbit
Additional voices
1965 The Secret Squirrel Show Additional voices
1965-1967 The Atom Ant Show Atom Ant
Precious Pup
Shag Rugg
Additional voices
Replaced Howard Morris as Atom Ant
1965 The New Alice in Wonderland Dormouse
TV movie
1966-1967 The Laurel and Hardy Cartoon Show Additional voices
1966-1968 Frankenstein, Jr. and The Impossibles Multi-Man
Perilous Paper Doll Man
The Bubbler
Jesse James
Alexander the Great
Fero, the Fiendish Fiddler
Satanic Surfer
Terrible Twister
Ackbar the Martian
Anxious Angler
Crafty Clutcher
Bizarre Batter
Additional voices
1966-1968 Space Ghost Blip
1966 The Space Kidettes Countdown
Pup Star
1967 Birdman Falcon 7
additional voices
1967 The Herculoids Gloop
1967 Jack and the Beanstalk Cat
TV movie (uncredited)
1967 Off to See the Wizard additional voices
1967 Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor Scooby the Seal
1967 Super President Additional voices
1967 Fantastic Four Kirgo
1967 Abbott & Costello Additional voices
1967 Shazzan Kaboobie
1968 The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Priest
"The Magic Shillelah"
La Feet's Defeat Sergeant Deux-Deux Short
1968-1969 The Adventures of Gulliver Eager
1968-1970 Wacky Races Muttley
Professor Pat Pending
Ring-a-Ding (Dum-Dum)
Little Gruesome
Gravel Slag
1969 The Banana Splits Adventure Hour Snork
Prof. Carter
1969 The Archie Comedy Hour Harvey Kinkle
Cousin Ambrose
1969-1970 The Perils of Penelope Pitstop Dum-Dum
1969-1970 Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines Muttley
Yankee Doodle Pidgeon
Muttley's Girlfriend
1969-1970 Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Scooby-Doo
Professor Hide-Whyte
Mr. Wickles
Ebenezer Shark
The Great Bluestone
Sharon's Father
John Maxwell
Mr. Jenkins
Max the Midget
The Mummy
University Professor
Dr. Najib
Zeb Perkins
Space Cook
Henry Bascombe
Nephew Norville
Fu Lun Chi
White Timberwolf
Mask Salesman
Professor Ingstrom
Wax Phantom
Roger Stevens
Mr. Grisby
1969-1971 Cattanooga Cats Hoppy
"Around the World in 79 Days" segment
1970 Where's Huddles? Fumbles
1970 Christam Is Additional voices TV movie
1970 Doctor Dolittle Additional voices
1970-1971 Josie and the Pussycats Sebastian
Additional voices
1970-1974 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Harvey Kinkle Uncredited
1971 B.C. - The Shadow Additional voices Short
1971 The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show Schleprock
1971 The Harlem Globetrotters Additional Voices
1971 Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch! Hercules the Hippo
Ambassador of Ptomania
"Gobs of Gabaloons"
1972 The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Chu Chu the Dog
1972 Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Harry's Accountant "Expectant Papa"
1972 The Flintstone Comedy Hour Schleprock
1972 The Barkleys Additional Voices
1972 The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't Additional Voices TV special
1972-1973 The New Scooby-Doo Movies Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1972 Josie and the Pussy Cats in Outer Space Sebastian
1972-1973 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Pastry Cook
House Agent
Gorgeous Cat
The Robot
Captain Parker
Second Cyclone
Additional voices
6 episodes
1973 Inch High, Private Eye The Professor
The Mummy
News Anchor
TV Reporter
Fat Frank
"The Mummy's Curse"
1973 The Addams Family Additional voices
1973 B.C.: The First Thanksgiving Peter
1973 Jeannie Additional voices
1973 Yogi's Gang Boob-Boo
Atom Ant
Squiddly Diddly
Touché Turtle
Ranger Smith
The Mayor of Smog City
1973-1975 Bailey's Comets Gabby
1974 Hong Kong Phooey Spot
The Mystery Maverick
Additional voices
1974-1975 Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch Scrambles
Officer Fishtail
The Fire Chief
1975 The Tom and Jerry Show Spike
Additional voices
Shared the role of Spike with Joe E. Ross
1975 The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow TV special
1975 The Oddball Couple Additional voices
1976 Jabberjaw Lamp Salesman
The Wizard from the Videobook
"Ali Jabber and the Secret Thieves"
1976 The First Easter Rabbit Jonathan
TV special
1976 Rudolph's Shiny New Year Papa Bear
additional voices
TV special
1976-1977 The Mumbly Cartoon Show Mumbly
1976-1977 Dynomutt, Dog Wonder Scooby-Doo
Lowbrow's Henchman
Additional voices
"Everyone Hyde!"
What Now, Lowbrow?
The Wizard of Ooze
1976-1978 The Scooby-Doo Show Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
40 episodes
1977 CB Bears Clyde The Ape
1977 The Skatebirds Scooter Penguin
1977 Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey Additional voices TV special
1977 Kaptain Kool and the Kongs Present ABC All-Star Saturday Scooby Doo TV movie
1977 A Flintstone Christmas Additional voices TV special
1977 The Hobbit Balin
Lord of the Eagles
Troll #3
TV special
1977 The Hobbit Balin
Lord of the Eagles
Troll #3
TV special
1977 Fred Flintstone and Friends
1977-1979 Laff-A-Lympics Scooby-Doo
The Show's Announcer
Boo-Boo Bear
Mr. Creeply
Creeply Jr.
Dastardly Dalton
1977-1980 Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels Additional voices
1978 Challenge of the Super Friends Scarecrow
Additional voices
1978 Casper's First Christmas Boo Boo TV special
1978 The Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour additional voices
1978 Yogi's Space Race additional voices
1978 The Flintstones: Little Big League TV special
1978 All-Star Comedy Ice Revue Scooby Doo
TV special
1978 Fantastic Four J.J. Colossal
1978-1979 Godzilla Godzooky
1979 The New Fred and Barney Show Bamm-Bamm Rubble
1979 Scooby Goes Hollywood Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
TV Movie
1979 The Super Globetrotters Time Lord
1979 The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone Igor TV Movie
1979 ABC Weekend Specials "The Horse That Played Centerfield'"
1979 Gulliver's Travels TV Movie
1979 Jack Frost Snip TV special
1979-1980 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979 TV series) Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1980 Yogi's First Christmas Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Herman the Hermit
TV movie
1980 Space Stars Astro
1980 Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? Humboldt TV special
1980 The Flintstone Comedy Show Schleprock
1980 The Flintstones' New Neighbors Bamm-Bamm Rubble / Vulture TV special
1980 The Flintstones: Fred's Final Fling Doctor
Fish #1
Fish #2
TV special
1980-1982 Drak Pack Toad
1980-1982 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1980-1981 The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang Additional voices
1981 The Kwicky Koala Show Clyde
1981 The Flintstones: Wind-Up Wilma Announcer TV special
1981-1982 Heathcliff Mr. Post
1981-1989 The Smurfs Papa Smurf
Dreamy Smurf
Sweepy Smurf
1982 My Smurfy Valentine Papa Smurf
TV special
1982 Pac Preview Party Scooby-Doo
1982 The Smurfs Springtime Special Papa Smurf
TV special
1982 Jokebook Additional voices
1982 Spider-Man Vulture
1982 The Smurfs Christmas Special Papa Smurf
TV special
1982 Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper Pixie
Ranger Smith
TV special
1983 The Smurfic Games Papa Smurf
TV special
1983-1984 The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show Scooby-Doo
1984 Laugh Busters Papa Smurf
1984 Strong Kids, Safe Kids Papa Smurf
Video Documentary Short
1984 The Duck Factory Wally Wooster First live action role
1984 The Mighty Orbots Commander Rondu
English dub
1984-1987 The Transformers Ratchet
1985 The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo
Additional voices
1985 Galtar and the Golden Lance Pandat
1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Professor "Lasers in the Light"
1985 The Pound Puppies Louie
TV movie
1985-1986 Paw Paws PaPooch
1985-1987 The Jetsons Astro
Additional voices
1980s revival of the original show
1985-1988 Yogi's Treasure Hunt Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
Ricochet Rabbit
Touche Turtle
1986 Foofur Pepe
1986 Smurfquest Papa Smurf
TV movie
1986 Here are the Smurfs Papa Smurf TV movie
1986-1987 The New Adventures of Jonny Quest Dr. Benton Quest
1986-1987 Pound Puppies Red Alert Pup
1987 Popeye and Son Eugene the Jeep
1987 The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones R.U.D.I. TV movie
1987 Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose Boo-Boo
TV Movie
1987 Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers Scooby-Doo
TV Movie
1987 Yogi's Great Escape Boo-Boo
Ranger Smith
TV Movie
1987 DuckTales Scrooge's Father "Once Upon a Dime"
1987 Tis The Season to Be Smurfy Papa Smurf
TV special
1987 The Real Ghostbusters Walt Fleischman "Who're You Calling Two-Dimensional?"
1988 Rockin' with Judy Jetson Astro TV Movie
1988 Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
TV Movie
1988 Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School Scooby-Doo
TV Movie
1988 The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound Boo-Boo Bear
The Narrator
TV Movie
1988 Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf Scooby-Doo
TV Movie
1988 Fantastic Max King Klutzes "Stitches in Time"
1988 The New Yogi Bear Show Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
1988-1991 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo
Scooby Doo's Dad
News Anchor
Additional voices
1989 Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration: 50 years of Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo
Ranger Smith
Additional voices
TV special
1989 Animal Follies Ruff
1989 The 16th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Papa Smurf TV special
1990 The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo
Theme Park Ride Animation Short
1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Papa Smurf TV Short
1990-1991 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda Sancho Panda
1990-1992 Wake, Rattle, and Roll Boo-Boo Bear
Lucky the Cat
1990-1993 Tom and Jerry Kids Droopy
Bat Mouse
Additional voices
1990-1995 Tiny Toon Adventures Hamton J. Pig
Additional voices
1991 Yo Yogi! Boo-Boo Bear
Atom Ant
1991 The Last Halloween Romtu TV special
1992 The Plucky Duck Show Hamton J. Pig
1992 Kings Quest VI Ali, Gnomes Video game
1993 Bonkers The Mayor "The Good, The Bad, and the Kanifky"
1993-1994 Droopy, Master Detective Droopy
Additional voices
1993-1994 Garfield and Friends Ludlow
1993 I Yabba-Dabba Do! Policeman TV movie
1993 Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby Baby Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Lot Security Guard
Tour Bus Driver
TV movie
1993 Jonny's Golden Quest Dr. Benton C. Quest
TV movie
1994 Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights Scooby-Doo
Boo-Boo Bear
TV movie
1994 Tiny Toons Spring Break Hamton J. Pig TV special
1994 A Flintstones Christmas Carol Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Joe Rockhead
TV movie
1994 Yogi the Easter Bear Boo-Boo Bear
Ranger Smith
TV special
1994 The Flintstones: Wacky Inventions Bamm-Bamm Rubble Short
1995 Tiny Toons' Night Ghoulery Hamton J. Pig
TV Executive
TV special
1995 Scooby-Doo Mystery Scooby-Doo Video game
1995 2 Stupid Dogs Corporal "Cartoon Canines"
1995 Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects Dr. Benton C. Quest
TV movie
1995 Freakazoid! Dr. Vernon Danger "Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet"
1996 Illusions Gaming Scooby-Doo Video game
1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Dr. Benton C. Quest (12 episodes of 52 episodes) Replaced by George Segal after the stroke


  1. ^ a b c d Don Messick Biography (1926-)
  2. ^ a b "Messick Superstar in World of Voices". The Victoria Advocate. March 3, 1985. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ J. David Goldin. "The NBC University Theatre episode guide". Retrieved March 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Voice Of Scooby-Doo
September 1969—September 1996
Succeeded by
Hadley Kay
Preceded by
Voice of Ratchet
Succeeded by
Robert Foxworth