June Foray: (1917-2017)

June Foray has died, a few months shy of her hundredth birthday and the animation pantheon has lost one of its true gods.

Pick a female cartoon character of the last century and the odds are good that June voiced her. She was the Looney Tunes’ Granny from 1955 to 2014. She was Magica De Spell. She was Cindy Lou Who. She was Rocky J. Squirrel, Natasha Fatale and Granny Fa.  In her time she was married to Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Goofy, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam. Her filmography reads like the history of American animation itself. Disney. Warner Bros. Hanna-Barbera, Simpsons, Family Guy, Powerpuff Girls.

She voiced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in his final short.

She wrote and hosted radio shows in the nineteen thirties, and voiced video game characters in the 2010s.

She did it all, folks. She did it all.

She was often stuck with samey roles and nothing parts but listen to enough of her voicework and you will hear a performer of staggering range and versatility. Some called her “the female Mel Blanc”. No less an authority than Chuck Jones is said to have retorted “Mel Blanc was the male June Foray.”

Sometimes a death leaves me sad and despondent. Not this one.

I look at June Foray’s life and all I feel is amazement, and wonder, and joy.

What a life. What a life.

Brava.

Thanks for everything, June. I mean, thanks for almost literally everything. 

 

10 comments

  1. I say this with no trace of sarcasm or irony: truly a life well-lived.

    (And I hope someone with much more artistic talent than I possess will do a little cartoon of some of her most famous characters mourning her loss, like I saw for Robin Williams.)

  2. I never paid a lot of attention to the people voicing cartoon characters until very recently, and I admit I had never heard the name “June Foray” before. But you named all those characters, and I could hear her voice in my head… and that was pretty cool.

    So thanks for everything, June Foray. 🙇

  3. Goodbye, June. You never got Moose and Squirrel or Scrooge’s #1 dime, but you still had it all.

    My favorite short starring her, it’s pure gold from beginning to end. “Kids, this stuff’s LOADED!”

  4. Mark Evanier, when she finally won an Emmy in 2012 said
    “In case anyone’s wondering what you have to do to get nominated for an Emmy, it’s simple: Just be the absolute best at what you do for around seventy years.”
    May she Rest In Peace.

  5. I know I heard June Foray’s voice growing up. When you’re a kid, you just hear the voices of characters but never think about the acting talent and skill that goes into voicing a cartoon. What an amazing career she had.

  6. Awww, now I feel sad! But then again, she did live for basically a century, which is a LOT longer than most people get, so I’m happy for that. Man, can you imagine living that long? To see so many changes in society, not to mention the changes she would have seen in the art and industry of animation.

    By the way, when you say she was married to Fudd, Good, etc., do you mean she married the men who voiced those characters, or she voiced the wives of those characters? Also, who was she on Powerpuff Girls?

  7. This has to be one of the best obituaries I have ever read. June Foray was an absolute legend and you are right that her long life should be celebrated not mourned. This is what I only wish more funeral services/remembrances should be about rather than simply shoving down our throats, “We’re all going to die but that is alright because I believe in God and thus we can be saved.”

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