Pinto Colvig

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Pinto Colvig
Pinto Colvig in Jacksonville School.jpg
Pinto Colvig in Jacksonville School, 1900
Born Vance DeBar Colvig
(1892-09-11)September 11, 1892
Jacksonville, Oregon, U.S.
Died October 3, 1967(1967-10-03) (aged 75)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death Lung cancer
Resting place Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City
Alma mater Oregon State University
Occupation Actor, voice actor, newspaper cartoonist, circus performer
Years active 1925–1965
Margaret Bourke Slavin
(m. 1916; d. 1950)

Peggy Bernice Allaire
(m. 1952)
Children Vance DeBar Colvig, Jr.
William Mason Colvig
Byington Ford Colvig
Bourke L. Colvig
Courtney X. Colvig
Parent(s) William Mason Colvig
Adelaide Birdseye Colvig

Vance DeBar Colvig (September 11, 1892 – October 3, 1967), professionally Pinto Colvig, was an American vaudeville actor, voice actor, newspaper cartoonist, and circus performer, whose schtick was playing the clarinet off-key while mugging. Colvig was the original Bozo the Clown, and the original voice of the Disney characters Pluto and Goofy. In 1993, he was posthumously made a Disney Legend for his contributions to Walt Disney Films, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fun and Fancy Free.

Personal life[edit]

Colvig was born Vance DeBar Colvig in Jacksonville, Oregon, one of seven children of Judge William Mason Colvig (1845–1936) and his wife, Adelaide Birdseye Colvig (1856–1912).[1] Although William Colvig was a pioneer, an attorney and a distinguished Oregonian, he was never actually a judge.[2] Pinto attended Oregon State University sporadically from 1910 to 1913[3].

After marrying Margaret Bourke Slavin (1892–1950) in 1916, he settled with her in San Francisco, where four of their five boys were born (their last son was born in Los Angeles).[4]

A lifelong smoker, Colvig was one of the pioneers in advocating warning labels about cancer risk on cigarette packages in the United States.

Colvig was the father of the character and voice actor Vance Colvig, who also later portrayed Bozo the Clown on a live TV program.


In 1916, Pinto Colvig worked with Byington Ford and Benjamin Thackston "Tack" Knight at the Animated Film Corp in San Francisco. The company produced animated cartoons over a decade before Walt Disney did. In 1922, Colvig created a newspaper cartoon panel titled "Life on the Radio Wave" for the San Francisco Chronicle. The feature ran three or four times per week on the newspaper's radio page, was syndicated nationally[5], and lasted six months.[6]

As his reputation grew, he worked for the Disney studio, the Warner Bros. animation studio, Fleischer Studios (Bluto, Gabby) and MGM, where he voiced a Munchkin in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.[7] He directed (along with Erdman Penner and Walt Pfeiffer) the 1937 Mickey Mouse short Mickey's Amateurs.

Colvig is known as the original voice of Disney's Goofy[8] and the original Bozo the Clown, a part he played for a full decade beginning in 1946.[9] During this period, Colvig recorded the "Filbert the Frog" song, which featured Colvig's virtuoso use of the glottal stop as a musical instrument in itself. Correction*** the glottal sounds, known as "glugging" where performed by musician/comedian, Mickey Katz.*** He is also the second known voice of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.[10] Other notable characters he voiced include Practical Pig, the pig that built the "house of bricks" in the Disney short "Three Little Pigs", and both Sleepy (originally to be voiced by Sterling Holloway) and Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the barks for Pluto the dog. He also provided Ichabod Crane's screams in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in 1949.


Colvig died of lung cancer on October 3, 1967, in Woodland Hills, California, at age 75.[11] He was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.


Year Title Role Notes
1925 Hey Fever Time
After a Reputation
Buster be Good
Oh! Buster! The Butler
Buster's Nightmare
1928 The Cockeyed Family Orange Farmer Uncredited
1930 Spooks Hippo Voice, Uncredited
Henpecked Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
The Chain Gang Hounds Voice, Uncredited
Snappy Salesman Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
Cold Feet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
The Navy Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
Africa Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
Alaska Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
1931 What a Doctor Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
The Moose Hunt Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey Steps Out Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Orphans Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1932 The Duck Hunt Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Mad Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Barnyard Olympics Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Revue Dippy Dog, Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Just Dogs Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Nightmare Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Trader Mickey Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Whoopee Party Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Touchdown Mickey Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1934 Servants' Entrance Mustard Pot Voice, Uncredited
1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Sleepy / Grumpy Voice, Uncredited
1939 The Wizard of Oz Munchkins Voice, Uncredited
Gulliver's Travels Gabby Voice, Uncredited
1941 Mr. Bug Goes to Town Mr. Creeper Voice, Uncredited
1943 Hop and Go Claude Hopper Voice, Uncredited
1944 The Three Caballeros Aracuan Voice, Uncredited
1947 Variety Girl Special Voice Impersonation Uncredited
Fun and Fancy Free Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1948 Bill and Coo Singer Uncredited
Melody Time Aracuan Bird (segment: 'Blame it on the Samba'), Voice, Uncredited
1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Townspeople Voice, Uncredited
1951 Alice in Wonderland Flamingo Voice, Uncredited
1959 Sleeping Beauty Maleficent's Goon Voice, Uncredited
1965 Donald Duck Goes West Goofy Voice, (final film role)


  • Bozo At The Circus (Capitol, 1946)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Mickey and the Beanstalk (Capitol, 1947)[13] as Goofy
  • Here Comes...Colonna's Trolley (Capitol, 1947)[12] as Additional Voice Characterizations
  • Bozo and his Rocket Ship (Capitol, 1948)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo Under The Sea (Capitol, 1948)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo and the Birds (Capitol, 1949)[14]
  • The Grasshopper And The Ants (Capitol, 1949)[15] as The Grasshopper
  • Bozo on The Farm (Capitol, 1950)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo Has A Party (Capitol, 1952)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Mickey Mouse's Candy Mine (RCA, 1952)[16] as Goofy
  • Bozo At The Dog Show (Capitol, 1954)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo's Merry-Go-Round Music (Capitol, 1954)[12] as Bozo the Clown
  • Mickey Mouse's Birthday Party (Capitol, 1954)[17] as Goofy, Pluto, Grumpy, Practical Pig, Cleo
  • Walt Disney's Song Parade from Disneyland (Golden, 1956)[18] as Goofy
  • Mickey and the Beanstalk (Disneyland, 1963)[13] as Goofy
  • Goofy's TV Spectacular (Disneyland, 1964)[19] as Goofy
  • Children's Riddles and Game Songs (Disneyland, 1964)[19] as Goofy (speaking voice only)


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