Pinto Colvig

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Pinto Colvig
Pinto Colvig in Jacksonville School.jpg
Pinto Colvig in Jacksonville School, 1900
Vance DeBar Colvig

(1892-09-11)September 11, 1892
DiedOctober 3, 1967(1967-10-03) (aged 75)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City
Alma materOregon State University
OccupationActor, voice actor, newspaper cartoonist, circus performer
Years active1925–1967[1]
Margaret Bourke Slavin
(m. 1916; died 1950)

Peggy Bernice Allaire (m. 1952)
Children5, including Vance DeBar Colvig, Jr.

Vance DeBar Colvig Sr. (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 performer of the Disney characters Pluto and Goofy, as well as Bozo the Clown. 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 Sr. in Jacksonville, Oregon, one of seven children of Judge William Mason Colvig (1845–1936) and his wife, Adelaide Birdseye Colvig (1856–1912).[2] Although William Colvig was a pioneer, an attorney and a distinguished Oregonian, he was never actually a judge.[3] Pinto attended Oregon State University sporadically from 1910 to 1913.[4]

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).[5]

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

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


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 several years 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[6], and lasted six months.[7]

By the late 1920s, Colvig became associated with Walter Lantz, with whom he attempted to establish a cartoon studio. When Lantz became producer of Universal's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons in 1929, Colvig was hired as an animator, also working as a storyman and voice artist, briefly voicing Oswald.[8]

In 1931, Colvig joined Walt Disney Productions as a writer, also providing sound effects, including the barks for Pluto the Pup. The following year he began voicing Goofy, originally known as Dippy Dawg.[9] 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. He also provided Ichabod Crane's screams in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in 1949.[citation needed] He directed (along with Erdman Penner and Walt Pfeiffer) the 1937 Mickey Mouse short Mickey's Amateurs. While he would be associated with Disney for most of his career, Colvig didn't work for the studio between 1937 and 1940 after falling out with Disney. He was offered a job with Fleischer Studios, then planning to produce a competing feature-length animation film in the wake of Disney's success with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. For Fleischer, he worked on 1939's Gulliver's Travels, for which he voiced town crier Gabby, who was spun off into his own short-lived series. He also voiced Bluto for the studio's Popeye the Sailor cartoons, replacing Gus Wickie, who had decided to stay in New York rather than move to Miami. Colvig's departure from Disney meant that the increasingly popular Goofy went voiceless for a number of years.

After returning to California, Colvig began to devote himself to acting, appearing for the Warner Bros. animation studio and MGM, where he voiced a Munchkin in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.[10] He also began working on radio, providing voices and sound effects, including the sounds of Jack Benny's Maxwell on The Jack Benny Program, later performed by Mel Blanc.[4] He also returned to Disney to reprise his roles as Goofy and Pluto.

In 1946, Colvig was cast as Bozo the Clown for Capitol Records. He played the role for a full decade, which also included portraying the character on television.[4][11] During this period, Colvig also recorded the "Filbert the Frog" song, which featured Colvig's virtuoso use of the glottal stop as a musical instrument in itself.

Colvig's last known performance was as Goofy for the Telephone Pavilion at Expo 67. Colvig's dialogue for this exhibit was recorded six months before his death.[1]


Colvig died of lung cancer on October 3, 1967, in Woodland Hills, California, at age 75.[12] He was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.[13]


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
1935 The Cookie Carnival Gingerbread Man 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
1945 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, Ichabod Crane (screams only) Voice, Uncredited
1951 Alice in Wonderland Flamengo 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)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Mickey and the Beanstalk (Capitol, 1947)[15] as Goofy
  • Here Comes...Colonna's Trolley (Capitol, 1947)[14] as Additional Voice Characterizations
  • Bozo and his Rocket Ship (Capitol, 1948)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo Under The Sea (Capitol, 1948)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo and the Birds (Capitol, 1949)[16]
  • The Grasshopper And The Ants (Capitol, 1949)[17] as The Grasshopper
  • Bozo on The Farm (Capitol, 1950)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo Has A Party (Capitol, 1952)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Mickey Mouse's Candy Mine (RCA, 1952)[18] as Goofy
  • Bozo At The Dog Show (Capitol, 1954)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Bozo's Merry-Go-Round Music (Capitol, 1954)[14] as Bozo the Clown
  • Mickey Mouse's Birthday Party (Capitol, 1954)[19] as Goofy, Pluto, Grumpy, Practical Pig, Cleo
  • Walt Disney's Song Parade from Disneyland (Golden, 1956)[20] as Goofy
  • Mickey and the Beanstalk (Disneyland, 1963)[15] as Goofy
  • Goofy's TV Spectacular (Disneyland, 1964)[21] as Goofy
  • Children's Riddles and Game Songs (Disneyland, 1964)[21] as Goofy (speaking voice only)


  1. ^ a b "The Akron Beacon Journal, October 21, 1967". Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  2. ^ Medford Pioneers
  3. ^ "William Colvig".
  4. ^ a b c "Pinto Notes".
  5. ^ Oregon Encyclopedia
  6. ^ "Life on the Radio Wave by Pinto Colvig".
  7. ^ "Stripper's Guide Obscurity of the Day, May 4, 2011". Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  8. ^ "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1930". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  9. ^ Egan, Timothy (July 14, 1991). "Northwest Noir: An Art of the Serious Goofy". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Interview with Billy Bletcher, by Michael Barrier and Milton Gray". Funnyworld. 1978. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  11. ^ "Battling Bozos". Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  12. ^ "Pinto Colvig, 75, Voice Of Cartoon Characters". The New York Times. October 6, 1967.
  13. ^ Southern Oregon Historical Society
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Pinto Colvig at Discogs". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  15. ^ a b "Walt Disney's "Fun and Fancy Free" on Records, Part 2". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  16. ^ Bozo and the Birds – A Capitol Record-Reader (1949), YouTube
  17. ^ "Disney's "Grasshopper and The Ants" on Records". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  18. ^ "Mickey Mouse's "Candy Mine" and "Orphan's Benefit". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  19. ^ "A Spin Special: Stan Freberg Records". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  20. ^ ""Walt Disney's Song Parade from Disneyland" on Golden Records". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  21. ^ a b "Walt Disney's Goofy – on the Record". Retrieved 2017-10-08.

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