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Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice artist, actor, radio comedian, and recording artist. Although he began his over 60-year career performing in radio, he is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical short films, during the Golden Age of Animation.
Blanc was born in San Francisco to Russian-Jewish parents in 1908. As a kid, he grew up in Portland, Oregon. While growing up, he had a thing for voices and dialect which he started to voice at the age of 10. At the age of 16, he claimed that he changed the spelling of his name from "Blank" to "Blanc", because a teacher told him that he would amount to nothing and be like his name, a "blank". Blanc joined the Order of DeMolay as a young man, and was eventually inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Blanc is known to have some musical knowledge. After graduating from high school in 1927, he split his time between leading an orchestra, becoming the youngest conductor in the country at the age of 19, and performing shtick in vaudeville shows around Washington, Oregon, and northern California.
His voice acting career with Warner Bros. began in 1937 with the cartoon short Picador Porky (in which he voiced a drunken bull). By 1944, due to a deal he made with Leon Schlesinger (in exchange for not getting a raise, according to his autobiography), Blanc had become the first voice actor to receive on-screen credit for his work, beginning with the Bugs Bunny short Little Red Riding Rabbit.
Having earned the nickname "The Man of 1,000 Voices," Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice-acting industry. Over the span of his career, he was in over 5,000 cartoons and did over 400 different voices for them.
- Porky Pig (replaced Joe Dougherty in 1937's Porky's Duck Hunt)
- Daffy Duck (debuted in 1937's Porky's Duck Hunt)
- Happy Rabbit (Bugs' prototype; debuted in 1938's Porky's Hare Hunt)
- Bugs Bunny (debuted in 1940's A Wild Hare)
- Cecil Turtle (debuted in 1941's Tortoise Beats Hare)
- Tweety (debuted in 1942's A Tale of Two Kitties)
- Yosemite Sam (debuted in 1945's Hare Trigger)
- Pepé Le Pew (debuted in 1945's Odor-able Kitty)
- Sylvester (debuted in 1945's Life with Feathers)
- Henery Hawk (replaced Kent Rogers in 1946's Walky Talky Hawky)
- Foghorn Leghorn (debuted in 1946's Walky Talky Hawky)
- Barnyard Dawg (debuted in 1946's Walky Talky Hawky)
- Charlie Dog (debuted in 1947's Little Orphan Airedale)
- Mac Gopher (debuted in 1947's The Goofy Gophers)
- Marvin the Martian (debuted in 1948's Haredevil Hare)
- Sylvester Junior (debuted in 1950's Pop 'Im Pop!)
- Beaky Buzzard (replaced Kent Rogers in 1950's The Lion's Busy and Strife with Father)
- Clyde Bunny (debuted in 1951's His Hare Raising Tale)
- Speedy Gonzales (debuted in 1953's Cat-Tails for Two)
- Rocky and Mugsy (debuted in 1953's Bugs and Thugs)
- Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog (debuted in 1953's Don't Give Up the Sheep)
- Tasmanian Devil (debuted in 1954's Devil May Hare)
- Nasty Canasta (replaced John T. Smith in 1954's My Little Duckaroo)
- Blacque Jacque Shellacque (debuted in 1959's Bonanza Bunny)
- Tosh Gopher (replaced Stan Freberg in 1965's Tease for Two)
- Elmer Fudd (mostly after Arthur Q. Bryan's death; ocassionally during Bryan's lifetime)
- Wile E. Coyote (speaking voice in Operation: Rabbit, To Hare Is Human, Rabbit's Feat, Compressed Hare, Adventures of the Road-Runner, and vocal effects in various Road Runner shorts)
- Private Snafu - WWII shorts
Other voice work
In addition to Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Blanc was also the original voice of Woody Woodpecker for Walter Lantz Productions, but only voiced the character in his first few theatrical shorts before he was signed to an exclusive contract with Warner Bros in the early 1940s. After his exclusive contract with WB expired in 1960, he also provided voices for the TV cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera. His most famous roles during this time were Barney Rubble of The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely of The Jetsons. His other voice roles for Hanna-Barbara included Dino the Dinosaur, Secret Squirrel, Speed Buggy and Captain Caveman. Blanc also provided vocal effects for the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts directed by Chuck Jones in the mid-1960s, and voiced the comic-strip character Heathcliff during the 1980s (his final original voice role). One of his final performances was in the 1988 live-action/animated movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which he voiced Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Tweety and Sylvester for their cameos in the film (though Joe Alaskey voiced Yosemite Sam in Blanc's place).
- That's Not All, Folks!, 1988 by Mel Blanc, Philip Bashe. Warner Books, ISBN 0-446-39089-5 (Softcover), ISBN 0-446-51244-3 (Hardcover)
- ↑ DeMolay International. DeMolay Hall of Fame. Retrieved on October 20, 2014.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mel Blanc, Philip Bashe (1988), That's Not All Folks, Warner Books. ISBN 0446512443
- ↑ Mel Blanc: From Anonymity To Offscreen Superstar (The advent of on-screen voice credits). Retrieved on 18 July 2017.
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeAM1vwEcFg