The Sound of the Crowd

As Mark says…

It’s been a bad week or two for voice people. Yesterday we had the news about Howard Morris (about whom Mark has a funny story here). Today we learn that Thurl Ravenscroft, best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes commercials, has died at the age of 91.

I can’t think of anything to add to Mark’s obit, but as a lover of great voices (to say nothing of great names), I do want to take note of Ravenscroft’s passing. So I’ll just take the coward’s way out and quote a couple big hunks of Mark’s with a link to the rest. Here he is:

His rich, bass voice was also known to audiences from his many years as a singer, plus you could hear him all over Disneyland. (That’s Thurl singing, “Grim, Grinning Ghosts” in the Haunted Mansion, and one of the busts along that ride was fashioned to look like him.) He also sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” on the animated TV special, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and appeared on hundreds of records and radio shows and other cartoons over the years.

Thurl was, in a way, the oldest working cartoon voice actor in the business. During the thirties, he was heard on radio as part of several different singing groups that eventually came to be known as The Sportsmen and later, he was in The Mellomen. One of his groups recorded voice tracks for a couple of Warner Brothers cartoons, such as the 1939 Sioux Me. Soon after, he began appearing in shorts for Mr. Disney, such as The Nifty Nineties (1941) and Springtime for Pluto (1944). Walt evidently liked the Ravenscroft sound because not only was he heard throughout the theme parks but he was also a voice in Dumbo, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins and many more.</i>

(ETA: I just looked up Ravenscroft on IMDB and among those “many more” include a couple of my favorites. He was a voice of the Wickersham brothers in the underrated (next to the Grinch) Horton Hears A Who special, and an uncredited goblin/background voice in Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit.)

The rest of Mark’s emotional remembrance is here.


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