Merle Herman Coffman
April 24, 1923
|Died||August 1, 1988 (aged 65)|
|Other names||Red Coffee|
|Occupation||Voice actor, comedian|
Karen De Luce (birth name Dolores Irene Luse) (m. 1961)
Merle Coffman, better known by his stage name Red Coffey (April 24, 1923 – August 1, 1988), was an American voice actor and comedian best known for playing Quacker in the Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM from 1950 to 1957.
Coffey's first role in animation appears to have been in Little Quacker (released January 7, 1950), and he subsequently was hired to play the little duck in another seven cartoons. After Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera left MGM and opened their own studio in 1957, they hired Coffey to play a duck similar to Quacker in a number of cartoons, such as Slumber Party Smarty and Duck in Luck with Yogi Bear, as well as a number of other appearances in Hanna-Barbera cartoons, such as Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks and Loopy De Loop. However, when Hanna and Barbera turned the character into Yakky Doodle and gave him his own series in 1961 as part of The Yogi Bear Show, Los Angeles children's show host Jimmy Weldon was hired for the role. Coffey finally received a screen credit for the Hanna-Barbera cartoon This is My Ducky Day starring Loopy De Loop, but his name was spelled Red Coffee. Coffey apparently changed the spelling of his stage name around 1960.
Coffey was also a nightclub comic, working in an act through the 1950s with Jerry Wallace. Coffey also appeared on KTTV's The Dude Martin Show and spent 1960 in a company of Olsen and Johnson's Hellzapoppin', which toured the United States with the Harlem Globetrotters.
- The Continuing Hunt For Red Coffey YOWP Hanna Barbera
- Daily Variety, May 1, 1952, Chatter, page six
- Yowp animation blog
- Bakersfield Californian, Oct. 14, 1950, page 17
- Oxnard Press-Courier, Jan. 15, 1959, page 2
- Long Beach Independent, Aug. 26, 1953
- Hamilton Journal-Daily News, Nov. 22, 1960, page 19
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