George O'Hanlon

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George O'Hanlon
O'Hanlon as Calvin Dudley in The Life of Riley
Born(1912-11-23)November 23, 1912
DiedFebruary 11, 1989(1989-02-11) (aged 76)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
Years active1932–1989
Inez Witt
(m. 1932; div. 1948)
(m. 1949; div. 1952)
Nancy Owens
(m. 1953)

George O'Hanlon (November 23, 1912 – February 11, 1989) was an American actor, comedian and writer. He was best known for his role as Joe McDoakes in the Warner Bros.' live-action Joe McDoakes short subjects from 1942 to 1956 and as the voice of George Jetson in Hanna-Barbera's 1962 prime-time animated television series The Jetsons and its 1985 revival.

Early life[edit]

George O'Hanlon was born on November 23, 1912, in Brooklyn, New York.[1]



From the early 1940s, O'Hanlon was a character actor in feature films, usually playing the hero's streetwise, cynical friend. He appeared in features for various studios while continuing the Joe McDoakes role for Warner Bros. After the McDoakes series lapsed in 1956, O'Hanlon returned to character work, mostly in television (two rare post-McDoakes movie appearances are in Bop Girl Goes Calypso and Kronos, both from 1957).


In the 1953–54 season, O'Hanlon appeared several times on NBC's The Dennis Day Show. In 1957, he played Charlie Appleby on an I Love Lucy episode, "Lucy and Superman". O’Hanlon played a character listed as “Caldwell” in a 1958 episode of Maverick, entitled “Rope of Cards”, S1 E17. In 1958, O'Hanlon played a New York publicist for a fashion model in How to Marry a Millionaire.

In 1962–63, he voiced one of his most prominent characters, George Jetson in the original The Jetsons, a role he would reprise over 20 years later in two additional seasons from 1985 to 1987.[2]

In the autumn of 1964, he appeared as a cab driver in the 13-episode CBS drama The Reporter. In 1966, O'Hanlon appeared opposite Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden's loudmouthed "bum brother-in-law", on Gleason's first TV show of the 1966-67 season. He also made various appearances on ABC's Love, American Style, a series for which he wrote the teleplays and also directed several episodes.

In 1971, O'Hanlon appeared as a bear trainer on The Partridge Family, season 2, episode 6, "Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?", a drunk in The Odd Couple, season 2, episode 6, "Murray the Fink" and a drunk in Adam-12, season 4 episode 1, "Extortion".


Apart from acting, he wrote screenplays and also wrote the storyboard for nearly all of the Joe McDoakes shorts. He wrote stories for television series in the 1960s such as Petticoat Junction, 77 Sunset Strip, and wrote episodes for Hanna-Barbera's The Flintstones. He also auditioned for the role of Fred Flintstone, but lost to Alan Reed; however, he was remembered when it was time to cast The Jetsons and Morey Amsterdam, the original choice to voice the lead male role, was unavailable due to sponsor conflicts. He once said: "George Jetson is an average man, he has trouble with his boss, he has problems with his kids, and so on. The only difference is that he lives in the next century."[3]

Personal life[edit]

O'Hanlon was married to Inez Witt from 1932 to 1948. After divorcing her, he married actress Martha Stewart in 1949; they divorced in 1952.[4]

O'Hanlon and his third wife, Nancy, had two children, George O'Hanlon Jr., and daughter Laurie O'Hanlon. They remained married until his death.[2]


In the mid-1980s, Hanna-Barbera revived The Jetsons and brought back its original voice cast of O'Hanlon, Daws Butler, Mel Blanc, Don Messick, Penny Singleton, Jean Vander Pyl, and Janet Waldo. O'Hanlon was blind and had limited mobility as a result of a stroke. He recorded his dialogue in a separate session from the other cast by having lines read to him by the recording director Gordon Hunt and then reciting them one at a time.[5][6]

On February 11, 1989, just after recording dialogue for Jetsons: The Movie,[2] O'Hanlon complained of a headache and was taken to Saint Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California, where he died of a second stroke.[7] According to Andrea Romano, who was Hanna-Barbera's casting director at the time, O'Hanlon found it difficult to read and hear, and in the end, he died doing what he loved.[8] The film was dedicated to him, along with Jetsons co-star Mel Blanc who died nearly five months later. Jeff Bergman was hired to finish the remaining dialogue for both actors for the movie.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1932 The Death Kiss Bystander / Man Sitting on Curb Uncredited
1933 High Gear Reporter / Spectator in Grandstand Uncredited
1934 Beggar's Holiday Bellhop Uncredited
1935 The Girl Friend Chorus Boy in Play Uncredited
1937 Hollywood Hotel Casting Assistant Uncredited
1938 Blondes at Work Third Newsboy Uncredited
Women Are Like That Page Uncredited
My Lucky Star Student in Girls of Hampshire Hall Skit Uncredited
Secrets of an Actress Flowers Delivery Boy Uncredited
Brother Rat Orderly Uncredited
1939 The Adventures of Jane Arden Crapshooter Uncredited
Daughters Courageous Dancer Uncredited
Hell's Kitchen Usher Uncredited
Dust Be My Destiny Man at Bank After Robbery Uncredited
Off the Record Messenger Boy Uncredited
A Child Is Born Young Husband Uncredited
Swanee River Ticket Taker Uncredited
1940 The Fighting 69th Eddie Kearney Uncredited
Saturday's Children Office Worker at Party Uncredited
Sailor's Lady Sailor
The Bride Wore Crutches Copy Boy Uncredited
City for Conquest Newsboy Uncredited
Spring Parade Peasant Uncredited
1941 The Great Awakening Peppi
Navy Blues Sailor Uncredited
Moon Over Her Shoulder Bellboy Uncredited
1942 Man from Headquarters Weeks, Reporter
Yokel Boy Teller Uncredited
A Gentleman After Dark Hotel bellboy Uncredited
Remember Pearl Harbor Radio Operator Uncredited
Criminal Investigator Powers
1942–1956 Joe McDoakes Joe McDoakes Short film series
1943 Ladies' Day Bond Buyer Uncredited
Action in the North Atlantic Navy Pilot Uncredited
All by Myself Buck Uncredited
Two Tickets to London Sailor Uncredited
Hers to Hold Coast Guardsman with Tommy Gun Uncredited
Corvette K-225 RCAL Wireless Operator Uncredited
Nearly Eighteen Eddie
1944 Resisting Enemy Interrogation American Pilot at Headquarters Uncredited
1947 The Hucksters Freddie Callahan Uncredited
The Spirit of West Point Joe Wilson
Heading for Heaven Alvin Ponacress
1948 Are You with It? Buster
The Counterfeiters Frankie Dodge
June Bride Scott Davis
1949 Joe Palooka in the Big Fight Louie
Zamba Marvin
1951 The Tanks Are Coming Sergeant Tucker
1952 Room for One More Minor Role Uncredited
The Lion and the Horse 'Shorty' Cameron
Park Row Steve Brodie
Cattle Town Shiloh
1953 So You Want to Learn to Dance Joe McDoakes Short film
1956 Battle Stations Patrick Mosher
1957 Kronos Dr. Arnold Culver
Bop Girl Goes Calypso Barney
1958 The Vanishing Duck George (voice) Short film
1971 The Million Dollar Duck Parking Attendant
1972 Now You See Him, Now You Don't Ted
1973 Charley and the Angel Harry, Police Chief
1976 Rocky TV Commentator #2
1990 Jetsons: The Movie George Jetson (voice) Released posthumously, final film role; dedicated in memory, character finished by Jeff Bergman


Year Title Role Notes
1954 The Dennis Day Show Himself Episode: "The Old Vaudevillian"
1955–1961 Make Room for Daddy Policeman, Chick Unknown episodes
1957 I Love Lucy George Appleby Episode: "Lucy and Superman"
1958 Maverick Morton Connors, Cousin Elmo & Caldwell 3 episodes
1962–1963, 1985–1987 The Jetsons George Jetson, Russian Reporter, Molecular Motors Video Man, Drummer (voices) 75 episodes
1971 The Partridge Family Bear Man Episode: "Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?"
1973 Mission: Impossible Captain Douglas Episode: "The Question"
1974 Sanford and Son Drunk Episode: "Ol' Brown Eyes"
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Herb Evans Episode: "The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton: Part 1 & 2"
1986–1988 The Flintstone Kids Additional voices 34 episodes
1987 The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones George Jetson (voice) Television film
1988 Rockin' with Judy Jetson
1989 Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration Television special; aired five months after his death

Production work[edit]

Year Title Position Notes
1942–1956 Joe McDoakes Screenwriter for most of the shorts Short film series
1959 The Rookie Director, screenwriter
1959–1960 The Ann Sothern Show Writer 2 episodes
1962–1963 The Gallant Men 2 episodes
1963 Grindl 2 episodes
77 Sunset Strip 2 episodes
1964 For Those Who Think Young Screenwriter
1965 Petticoat Junction Writer 2 episodes
1966 The Flintstones Episode: "Curtain Call at Bedrock"
1965–1966 Gilligan's Island 2 episodes
1966 Jackie Gleason: American Size Magazine Episode: "The Honeymooners: The Adoption"
1967 The Jackie Gleason Show Episode: "The Honeymooners: The Adoption"
1968 I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew Story
1973 Love, American Style Segment: "Love and the Model Apartment"


  1. ^ "George O'Hanlon". Hollywood Walk of Fame. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "George O'Hanlon, 76, George Jetson's Voice". The New York Times. Associated Press. February 15, 1989. p. 24. Archived from the original on June 27, 2011.
  3. ^ "George O'Hanlon; Father's voice on Jetsons". Los Angeles Times. February 14, 1989. Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  4. ^ Andre Soares. "Martha Stewart Still Alive?",; accessed February 26, 2016.
  5. ^ Takamoto, Iwao (2009). Iwao Takamoto: My Life with a Thousand Characters. Twao. ISBN 9780786486946.
  6. ^ Lawson, Tim (2004). The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors. Persons. ISBN 9780786486946.
  7. ^ "Location of death".
  8. ^ "Talking Toons With Rob Paulsen: Episode 16 with Guest: Andrea Romano". Talking Toons With Rob Paulsen.
  9. ^ "Porky and pals get new, familiar voice". The Tennessean. Retrieved 23 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Voice of George Jetson
Succeeded by