Grace Stafford

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Grace Stafford
Grace Stafford 1958.jpg
Stafford in 1958.
Grace Boyle

(1903-11-07)November 7, 1903
DiedMarch 17, 1992(1992-03-17) (aged 88)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Years active1935–1991
Known forWoody Woodpecker
Tom Keene
(m. 1919; div. 1940)

Walter Lantz
(m. 1940; her death 1992)

Gracie Lantz (born Grace Boyle, November 7, 1903 – March 17, 1992), also known by her stage name Grace Stafford, was an American actress and the wife of animation producer Walter Lantz.[1] Stafford is best known for providing the voice of Woody Woodpecker, a creation of Lantz's, from 1950 to 1991.


Grace appeared in feature live-action films from 1935, Dr. Socrates, to 1975, Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Some of her more notable roles were in the films Anthony Adverse and Blossoms in the Dust.

Stafford provided the character voice of Woody Woodpecker from 1950 to 1991, but she asked not to be credited in that role until the cartoon Misguided Missile (1958). She believed that audiences both young and old would be "disillusioned" if they knew Woody was voiced by a woman.[2] Walter Lantz always insisted that his wife had submitted her audition tape for the role anonymously, and was cast before he knew it was her voice.[citation needed] Stafford appeared on an episode of What's My Line? on November 10, 1963.


Gracie Lantz died of spinal cancer on March 17, 1992, at the age nearly 89.[3]

Live-action filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Lantz, Creator of Woody Woodpecker, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  2. ^ "Gracie Lantz Dies; Invented Woody Woodpecker". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
  3. ^ "Gracie Lantz, 88, Dies; Cartoon Figure's Voice". The New York Times. 1992-03-20. Retrieved 2013-08-10.

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