Walter Tetley

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Walter Tetley
Walter Tetley (Tetzlaff).jpg
Tetley ca. 1940s
Walter Campbell Tetzlaff

(1915-06-02)June 2, 1915
DiedSeptember 4, 1975(1975-09-04) (aged 60)
OccupationActor, voice actor
Years active1936–1973

Walter Tetley (June 2, 1915 – September 4, 1975)[1] was an American actor and voice actor specializing in child impersonation during radio's classic era, with regular roles on The Great Gildersleeve and The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, as well as continuing as a voice-over artist in animated cartoons, commercials, and spoken-word record albums. He is perhaps best known as the voice of Sherman in the Jay Ward-Bill Scott Mr. Peabody TV cartoons.


Walter's foray into voices for theatrical cartoons began in the 1930s, as the voice of Felix the Cat in Van Beuren's Rainbow Parade cartoons in shorts such as "Neptune Nonsense". In "Bold King Cole", Tetley starts the cartoon short singing "Nature and Me", showcasing his song styling abilities. For his entire adult life, Tetley had the voice of a preteen boy. The cause of which, other than a joking mention by co-star Bill Scott claiming that he had been castrated,[2] was never confirmed, with the only other possible cause being Kallmann syndrome, which led to him largely filling voice roles of young boys; his unusual situation would allow him to hold roles for young boys far longer than actual boys of that age could before their voices would lower due to puberty.

In the late 1940s, he was the voice of Andy Panda in the Walter Lantz cartoons distributed by Universal Pictures.

In 1946, Tetley supplied the voice of the electric utility mascot Reddy Kilowatt in the short film Reddy Made Magic, produced by Lantz with Reddy Kilowatt creator Ashton B. Collins, Sr.; Tetley also performed the film's theme song.[3] In 1959 he reprised the role in a John Sutherland-produced remake called The Mighty Atom.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Walter would become familiar to a new generation as the voice of Sherman, the nerdy, freckled, bespectacled boy sidekick of time-traveling dog genius Mr. Peabody, in the "Peabody's Improbable History" segments of Jay Ward's Rocky and His Friends (also known as The Bullwinkle Show), which made its debut in 1959.

Tetley worked for Capitol Records in the 1950s, providing an array of juvenile voices for the label's spoken-word and comedy albums, including Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years (1961). His Gildersleeve co-star, Harold Peary, had made three albums for Capitol a decade earlier, telling children's stories Gildersleeve-style.

In 1973 Tetley made an appearance on Rod Serling's radio series The Zero Hour. He can be heard in the "Princess Stakes Murder" episodes beginning the week of November 19.

"The Sheriff of Fetterman's Crossing", an episode of Serling's 1965 TV series The Loner, featured guest star Allan Sherman as a character named Walter Peterson Tetley.


In 1971, after several more years' voiceover work, Tetley was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Numerous sources have suggested Tetley may have lost his southern California home in the same period and lived out his days in a trailer. He died at the age of 60 on September 4, 1975, having never fully recovered from his injuries.[4] His interment was in Chatsworth's Oakwood Memorial Park.




  • The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg (1936) - Felix the Cat
  • Neptune Nonsense (1936) - Felix the Cat
  • Bold King Cole (1936) - Felix the Cat
  • Boy Meets Dog (1938) - Bobby
  • The Hunted Mouse (1941) - Mouse
  • Fish Fry (1944) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • The Painter and the Pointer (1944) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • Crow Crazy (1945) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • Apple Andy (1946) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • Mousie Comes Home (1946) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • The Wacky Weed (1946) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • Banquet Busters (1948) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • There's Good Boos To-Night (1948) - Casper (uncredited)
  • Playful Pelican (1948) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • Dog Tax Dodgers (1948) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • Scrappy Birthday (1948) - Andy Panda (uncredited)
  • The Woody Woodpecker Show (1957) - Andy Panda
  • The Best of Mr. Peabody & Sherman (1959) - Sherman
  • Rocky and His Friends (1959–1961) - Sherman, Joey Tell, Girl
  • The Bullwinkle Show (1961–1963) - Sherman, Joey Tell, Girl
  • The Dudley Do-Right Show (1969) - Additional voices
  • A Christmas Story (1972) - Timmy


  • Ben Ohmart (2003). Walter Tetley - For Corn's Sake. BearManor Media. ISBN 1-59393-000-3.
  • Keith Scott (2000). The Moose That Roared - The story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a flying squirrel and a talking moose. St. Martins Press. ISBN 0-312-19922-8.


  1. ^ DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 260.
  2. ^ Keith Scott (2000). The Moose That Roared – The story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a flying squirrel and a talking moose. St. Martins Press. ISBN 0-312-19922-8.
  3. ^ The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia (n.d.). Miscellaneous Cartunes: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2010-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^

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