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