Jean Vander Pyl
|Jean Vander Pyl|
Jean Vander Pyl behind a prop of Wilma
October 11, 1919|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||April 10, 1999
Dana Point, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Lung cancer|
|Other names||Jean Vanderpyl|
|Occupation||Radio, television and voice actress|
|Spouse(s)||Carroll G. O'Meara (his death; 3 children)
Roger Wells DeWitt (his death; 1 child)
Jean Vander Pyl (October 11, 1919 – April 10, 1999) was an American actress on radio, television and movies. Although her career spanned many decades, she is best remembered as the voice of Wilma Flintstone for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Flintstones. She also provided the voice for Pebbles Flintstone. She also provided the voice of Rosie the robot maid from the animated series The Jetsons, among many others, such as Fifi and additional voices in Top Cat and Winsome Witch on The Secret Squirrel Show.
Life and career
Jean Vander Pyl was born in Philadelphia to John H. and Kathleen Hale Vander Pyl. Her grandfather had come from the Netherlands. Her father was the district manager for Knit Underwear, her mother was a Southerner from Tennessee. The two died within six months of each other in the early 1950s. The family came to Los Angeles by the mid-1930s.
On radio she was heard on such programs as The Halls of Ivy (1950–52) and on Father Knows Best during the early 1950s, where she portrayed Margaret Anderson; the role was played on television by Jane Wyatt. Her husband, Carroll G. O'Meara, died on February 18, 1962, at age 53. He was a graduate of Stanford University who worked as a copywriter at KHJ radio in the mid-1930s and later became an advertising executive. She later married Roger Wells DeWitt, who also predeceased her.
Vander Pyl made numerous TV appearances as an actress in programs such as Leave It to Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, Father Knows Best, The Beverly Hillbillies, That Girl, and Petticoat Junction. One of her final TV appearances was in the opening scene of the Season Two Murder, She Wrote episode, "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder". Vander Pyl also had a very brief cameo appearance in the 1994 live-action film version of The Flintstones as Mrs. Feldspar, an elderly woman in a conga line.
Vander Pyl was the voice of Wilma Flintstone, her best-known character, in the original Flintstones series. She told an interviewer in 1995 that she received $250 per episode for making The Flintstones, and in 1966, when the series ended, she rushed to accept $15,000 in lieu of residual payments from syndication. "The Flintstones" ran in syndication across the globe for decades. At the time, Vander Pyl lived in San Clemente, California, and remarked: "If I got residuals, I wouldn't live in San Clemente. I'd own San Clemente."
Most of her other voice acting work was also for the Hanna-Barbera studio, where she played her first voice role in 1958 on an episode of The Huckleberry Hound Show, voicing an actress in The Yogi Bear episode, "Show Biz Bear". She did additional voices, particularly Southern belles and beautiful girls, on The Quick Draw McGraw Show, Snagglepuss and The Yogi Bear Show. In 1961-62, Vander Pyl played Nurse Larue, Charlie the baby, Goldie, Lola Glamour and additional voices on multiple episodes of Top Cat and in 1962, she did another memorable role, as Rosie, the Jetsons' robotic maid, and 23 years later in 1985 she reprised the character on the returning series.
Later, she did the voices of Maw Rugg and her daughter Floral Rugg on a rural cartoon, Hillbilly Bears, and Winsome Witch; both shows were part of The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show (1965–1967). Jean Vander Pyl was also the voice of Little Ogee on The Magilla Gorilla Show. In 1969, Vander Pyl guest starred on the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? episode "Foul Play in Funland", playing Sarah Jenkins.
In the 1970s, she was the voice of Marge Huddles, the main character's wife on Where's Huddles?, in which she played a role similar to that of Wilma Flintstone and was reunited with her Flintstones cast members Alan Reed and Mel Blanc. She went on to voice Mrs. Finkerton on Inch High Private Eye, as well as several female characters on Hong Kong Phooey, The Tom and Jerry Show and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the talented voice actress did voices on The Mister T Show, The Snorks, Yogi's Treasure Hunt and also on The Flintstone Kids as Mrs. Slaghoople. She mostly reprised Wilma Flintstone on spin-off series and films, such as The Flintstone Comedy Show, The New Fred and Barney Show, The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, I Yabba-Dabba Do!, Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby, and A Flintstones Christmas Carol.
On April 10, 1999, Vander Pyl died of lung cancer at her home in Dana Point, California. She was 79 years old. She was survived by her three sons, Michael and Timothy O'Meara, and Roger DeWitt, Jr. DeWitt, Jr. is also an actor and singer. Her daughter, Tina O'Meara, died in the 1970s. Vander Pyl was interred in Ascension Cemetery in Lake Forest, California. Her most prominent character Wilma Flintstone is engraved on her gravestone.
- Mouchard, Andre (September 29, 1989). "Meet Jean Vander Pyl, the Real Voice Behind Wilma Flintstone". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Jean Vander Pyl; Cartoon Voice of Wilma Flintstone". The Los Angeles Times. April 15, 1999. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- 1920 U.S Government Census
- California death records, 1952-53
- The Los Angeles Times, "Rosary Will Be Recited for Carroll G. O'Meara" (Obituary published February 21, 1962)
- The New York Times, "Jean Vander Pyl, 79, the Voice of Wilma on 'The Flintstones'" (Obituary published April 15, 1999). Retrieved on October 17, 2008.
- Jean Vander Pyl at the Internet Movie Database
- Jean Vander Pyl at AllMovie
- Jean Vander Pyl at Find a Grave