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January 6, 1920
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Died||May 19, 2005
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Thelma Corden (m. ?–1969; divorced)
Shirley W. Cytron (m. 1970–1979; divorced).
Charlotte R. Colton Diamond (m. 1984–1993; her death).
Angelina Corden (m. 1995–2005; his death)
|Children||With Thelma: Dawna and Robyn
With Angelina: Erik, Derek and Monica
Henry Corden (January 6, 1920 – May 19, 2005) was a Canadian-born American actor and voice artist best known for taking over the role of Fred Flintstone after Alan Reed died in 1977. His official debut as Fred's new voice was on the 1977 syndicated weekday series Fred Flintstone and Friends for which he provided voice-overs on brief bumper clips shown in-between segments, although he had previously provided the singing voice for Reed in both the 1966 theatrical film, The Man Called Flintstone and the 1966 Hanna-Barbera special The New Alice in Wonderland (or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?).
Life and career
Corden was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as Henry Cohen to Max and Emma Cohen. His father was a meat curer who had been born in Romania; his mother was originally from Russia. The family moved to the Bronx, New York when Corden was a child and he arrived in Hollywood in the 1940s. A story in the Los Angeles Times dated January 8, 1963 stated he had been in the entertainment business for 25 years (since 1938), though the 1940 U.S Census lists him without an occupation. He appeared on the stage in Los Angeles and Hollywood, including a 1947 production of The Message. His film career included The System (1952), where he played a near-sighted gangster named Specs. Corden thought it would be the first time in 25 films he could wear his glasses and see while he was acting, but the lenses gave off too much reflection and he had to substitute them for plain glass after one day of shooting.
With his deep voice, jet-black hair and ethnic looks, Corden was frequently tapped to play heavies in films and on television. He can be seen in such live-action films as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Black Castle, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion and The Ten Commandments. He also appeared in dozens of TV shows, including Dragnet, Perry Mason, Hogan's Heroes, Gunsmoke, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and was a usual regular on The Jerry Lewis Show. Corden also played landlord Henry Babbitt on The Monkees and appeared as Mr. Haskell, the owner of an ice cream parlor, in an episode of The Brady Bunch.
Corden gave his voice to a number of Hanna-Barbera productions besides The Flintstones, including The Jetsons, Josie and the Pussycats, The Atom Ant Show, The New Tom & Jerry Show and Jonny Quest. Corden also gave voice to the wizard Gemini and Ookla the Mokk in Ruby-Spears Productions' Thundarr the Barbarian as well as the Gorilla General Urko in DePatie-Freleng Enterprises' Return to the Planet of the Apes. He voiced Arnie Barkley, the Archie Bunker-inspired patriarch of DePatie-Freleng's The Barkleys, in 1972.
Corden had one enduring role for which he was never credited. He was called upon to impersonate Jackie Gleason for the "television edit" of Smokey and the Bandit The repeated broadcasts of this version, the liberal use of the nonsense phrase "scum bum" to replace profanity, and the fact that it obviously was not Gleason speaking have given the performance a sort of cult status.
Corden died of emphysema at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Corden's wife of nine years, Angelina, was with him at the time. Besides his wife, Corden is survived by his two children, Dawna Wade and Robin Smith, three stepchildren Erik Faraldo, Derek Faraldo and Monica Faraldo, two granddaughters, and three stepgrandsons. His interment was at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
- The Associated Press, quoted in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Dec. 28, 1952.
- McLellan, Dennis (May 21, 2005). "Henry Corden, 85; Played Film and TV Heavies, Was Voice of Fred Flintstone". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Edward L. Cahn, Robert E. Kent Productions (Harvard Film), James Brown II, Merry Anders, Henry Corden, When the Clock Strikes, United Artists (USA), (1961), Film (BW)