Donnie Dunagan

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Donnie Dunagan
Pickwick Oct. 30, 2014
Donald Roan Dunagan

(1934-08-16) August 16, 1934 (age 84)
Years active1938–1942
Military career
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1952–1977
RankUS-O4 insignia.svg Major
Battles/warsVietnam War

Donald "Donnie" Roan Dunagan (born August 16, 1934) is an American former child actor and retired United States Marine Corps drill instructor. He was a voice actor in the Bambi film, providing the voice of young Bambi.


Dunagan was born in San Antonio, Texas, but his family soon moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where they struggled with poverty.[1] There at the age of three-and-a-half he won a talent contest prize of $100. Spotted by a studio talent scout, the family moved to Hollywood, where Dunagan appeared in a series of films[2] and soon became his family's main breadwinner. His career ended after he provided the voice for the young fawn in Walt Disney's Bambi.[3]

By the age of 13, Dunagan was living in a boarding house and working as a lathe operator. In 1952, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.[4] He became the Marines' youngest-ever drill instructor[5] and served three tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded several times, before finally retiring in 1977 with the rank of Major.[5]

For his service he received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Dunagan kept his acting career a secret while serving in the Marines[5] but in 2004 he was located and exhaustively interviewed by horror movie historian Tom Weaver in a special "Donnie Dunagan issue" of "Video Watchdog" magazine. Dunagan is retired and is currently living in San Angelo, Texas, with his wife.



  1. ^ "A Discussion With Donnie Dunagun: The Voice Of Bambi". Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Murray, Angus Wolfe (2011). "A profile of Donnie Dunagan, The Voice of Bambi". Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  3. ^ NPR Staff (July 31, 2015). "Major Bambi: Meet The Marine Who Was Disney's Famous Fawn". NPR.
  4. ^ Brooks, Xan (February 16, 2005). "How Bambi fought the Viet Cong". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Westbrook, Bruce (March 7, 2005). "Marine reflects on being the voice of Bambi". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 9 April 2012.

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