June Foray was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 18. Various years of birth have been given for her: 1917, 1919, 1920, and 1925. 1917 seems the most plausible year, since it was attributed to her in an interview that she did in 2000 whenThe Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) was released.
She started in the voice field at the age of 12, at a time when she was already doing old lady voices. She had the good fortune of having a speech teacher who also had a radio program in the Springfield area. This teacher became her mentor, and she added June to the cast of her show. Taking speech classes might me a little time consuming and reading term paper writing tips could be better though both approaches are worth all the efforts when you need to give a spech on some public events or presentation and you neet it to be memorable.
Eventually, June's family moved to California, where she continued in radio. By the age of 15 she was already writing her own show for children, "Lady Makebelieve", in which she also provided voices. June dabbled in both on-camera acting and voice work, but was particularly talented in voice characterizations, dialects and accents. Just like Daws Butler, one of her later co-stars, June was a "voice magician" and worked steadily in radio from the 1930s into the 1950s.
In the 1940s, and possibly even as early as the 1930s, June branched out from radio and began providing voices for cartoons. In the 1940s, she provided the voices for a live action series of shorts called "Speaking of Animals", in which she dubbed in voices for real on-screen animals, a task she was to repeat many years later in an episode ofWalt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954). In the late 1940s, June, Stan Freberg,Daws Butler, Pinto Colvig and many others recorded hundreds of children's and adult albums for Capitol Records. Her female characterizations on these records ran the entire gamut from little girls to middle-aged women, old ladies, dowagers, and witches. No one seemed to be able to do these same voices with the warmth, energy and sparkle that June did.
In the 1950s, June's star in animation not only began to rise, but soared when Walt Disney sought June out and hired her to do the voice of Lucifer the cat in Cinderella(1950). The Disney continued to use June many times over, well into the twenty-first century. Warner Brothers also hired her to replace Bea Benaderet and do all of its "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" cartoons. June has done many incidental characters for Warners, but her most famous voice has been that of Granny (in the "Tweety and Sylvester" series). Unfortunately, since Mel Blanc's contract called for exclusive voice credit on these cartoons, June never received credit for all the voices she did. During this time, she also appeared on The Woody Woodpecker Show (1957)
In 1957, Jay Ward, met with June to discuss her voicing the characters of "Rocky the Flying Squirrel" and "Natasha Fatale". On November 19, 1959, the show debuted asRocky and His Friends (1959), later changing its name to The Bullwinkle Show (1961).
June provided many other voices for this show, especially its "side shows" such as "Fractured Fairy Tales" and "Aesop and Son". She did fewer voices for the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment, but she did appear in at least three of those episodes. After the show had been successful for a few years, Ward added one of this series' most popular segments, "Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties". June was a regular in this side show as Dudley's girlfriend "Nell Fenwick".
Since Ward used June exclusively for nearly all the female voices, he showcased her talents as no other producer had before. June missed out on doing voices for three of the show's "Fractured Fairy Tales" because she could not reschedule some bookings to do recording work with Stan Freberg, so Julie Bennett filled in for her on those occasions. Dorothy Scott, co-producer Bill Scott's wife, also filled in for June a few times for "Peabody's Improbable History".
Her collaboration with Ward made her incredibly famous, and "Rocky the Flying Squirrel" became her signature voice. To this day, June regularly wears a necklace with the figure of Rocky attached to the chain.
Ward later produced two other cartoon series, Hoppity Hooper (1964) and George of the Jungle (1967). June's appearances on Hoppity Hooper (1964) were limited to the segments of "Fractured Fairy Tales", "Dudley Do-Right", and "Peabody" that aired during its run. On "Fractured Fairy Tales", June did a whole montage of voices similar to those from her Capitol Records days. Her witch voices were so incredibly funny and magnificently done that Disney and Warner Brothers studios tapped her to provide that same voice for the character of Witch Hazel. She was once again the lone female voice artist on George of the Jungle (1967). Included on that show were the "Super Chicken" and "Tom Slick" side shows.
In the 1960s, June lost out to Bea Benaderet when she auditioned for the voice of "Betty Rubble" on The Flintstones (1960). June appeared numerous times during the decade in holiday specials such as Frosty the Snowman (1969) and The Little Drummer Boy (1968)).
In the 1960s and 1970s, June dubbed in voices for full-length live action feature films many times. Jay Ward and Bill Scott also used June to dub in dialogue for silent movies in their non-animated series Fractured Flickers (1963).
In the early 1970s, June also tried her hand at puppetry. She became the voice of an elephant, an aardvark, and a giraffe on Curiosity Shop (1971). Around this time, she also recorded various voices for the road shows of "Disney on Parade", which toured the United States and Europe for several years.
She has done some on-camera work over the years, primarily on talk shows, game shows, and documentaries; in the early years of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), she performed a thirteen week stint as a little Mexican girl. However, June has said that prefers to record behind the scenes because she can earn more money in less time.
She passed away on July 26, 2017, from cardiac arrest.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Brian Kistler