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 Identity of actor in early cartoons
 
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Kazooboy



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I just got here and I'm not certain that this is the proper place to post a question, as I find this whole site confusing; but for years I have been dying to learn the identity of a certain extremely deep voiced actor who sounds kinda like Noah Beery Sr.
He was a voice in all of the "Dogville" shorts made by Jules White and in particular was the voice of "The Pincushion Man" in the cartoon of the same name. He was usually a villain of some sort.
Can anybody help me out here?
I've been wondering about his identity for 35 plus years!
Thanks- Kazooboy

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The Man With the Jive
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A. Leal
Site Admin


Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 59
Location: El Paso, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I've never seen the "Dogville" shorts (outside of brief clips), but one mention of the Pincushion Man and I know who you mean! You're describing the wonderfully rich, deep voiced portrayer of sundry villains, bullies, or authority figures, the one and only Billy Bletcher: http://www.voicechasers.com/database/showactor.php?actorid=1117

The current listing is an incredibly incomplete sampling of the man's work. Beginning as an on camera player in silent comedies, he soon became a voice staple of the 30s (and kept busy through the early 50s, when increased competition began to limit his work, though he kept active in records). Despite his deep voice, the actor himself was actually fairly short, standing at five foot two. His best known work is probably as the voices of the Big Bad Wolf and Pegleg Pete for Disney (and countless other "deep voices" in Silly Symphonies of the time, ie. Judge Owl in "Who Killed Cock Robin," Dirty Bill in "Ambrose the Robber Kitten," the cat captain in "Three Blind Mice," and many more), but he also starred in "The Captain and the Kids" at MGM (and played Barney Bear for a time), was various characters in Warner shorts, and even, with a sped up voice, dubbed the Munchkin Mayor in The Wizard of Oz. he also worked in radio through the 50s, and briefly worked on "The Lone Ranger" as a stand in for Brace Beemer in the title role.

I don't have any vintage Bletcher sound clips right now (I'll see if I can upload some of his 30s radio work on "Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air" at some point), but here's one audio clip:
http://www.dawsbutler.com/audio-daws/daws-peppy.ram

This is the full content of the children's record "Peppy Possum" (from capitol Records, I think, probably early, mid 50s). The main voice is Daws Butler, voicing Peppy, his father, and the narrator, but Bletcher has a decent-sized role as the menacing hunting dog Major. Bletcher's voice didn't really lose its resonance, at least not until years later perhaps (or so I'm inclined to wonder, as an on camera guest appearance on "Get Smart" in the 60s had his part dubbed in by William Woodson!)

Hope this helps!
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Kazooboy



Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 am Reply with quote Back to top

Wow- that was quick. Thanks so much. As I said before, I've wondered about this guy's voice for almost 40 years.
While I'm at it, do you or anyone else know if there is musical personnel info for the "cartoon" orchestras of early Fleisher Bros. and Warner Brothers?
Another mystery which has plagued me for decades.
Any help will be muchly appreciated.
This is a WONDERFUL resource, and God bless you for it.--Kazooboy
P.S. I have several "Dogville" shorts on VHS that I would be willing to copy and share for the co$t of tape and shipping.

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