Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Remembering Mel Blanc May 30, 1908 - July 10, 1989

During my childhood, one of my favorite things to do was watch the morning cartoons and hear the variety of characters including "Bugs Bunny" uttering "What's Up Doc" and "I tawt I taw a putty cat" to "Porky the Pig" and "Daffy the Duck"  Little did I know that their voices came from the same person, Mel Blanc

Mel was born Melvin Jerome Blanc in San Francisco.  He and his family were well aware of Mel's gift at a very early age.  He began his career as a radio announcer and used his many voices to move up the ladder of success.

His career was halted in 1961 following a near fatal car accident that nearly ended his career.  When he came out of his coma, his disability didn't stop him.  While confined to a bed for nearly a year in a full body cast, Blanc had engineers set up shop in his hospital room and continued to provide the voice of Barney Rubble.

Mel's nickname was "The Man of A Thousand Voices" and his career spanned six decades that provided entertainment for millions of children in my era.  He is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voices of characters including Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam to name a few to later in his career as Mr. Spacely of "The Jetsons"

Mel Blanc was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

During his career, he was a regular performer on The Jack Benny Show.

Later in Mel's career, he did lecturing at several universities all across the United States. He appeared in commercials for American Express and 9 Lives Cat Food featuring Sylvester the Cat, and he voiced the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" animated movie.

Mel Blanc is regarded as the most prolific voice actor in the history of film.

He died on July 10, 1989 from cardiovascular disease at the age of 81.  Hundreds turned out for Mel's funeral in Hollywood.  A cartoon was featured at his service that included a silenced microphone.

Mel Blanc rests in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood where the words on his monument are those voiced by Porky Pig         "That's All Folks"

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