June Foray (September 18, 1917 - July 26, 2017) was an American voice actress, best known as the voice of such animated characters as Lucifer from Cinderella, Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Jokey Smurf, Witch Hazel, Granny, Natasha Fatale, Nell Fenwick and Magica De Spell. Her career has encompassed radio, theatrical shorts, feature films, television, record albums (particularly with Stan Freberg), video games, talking toys and other media. Foray was also one of the founding members of ASIFA-Hollywood, the society devoted to promoting and encouraging animation. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring her voice work in television.
June Foray was born June Lucille Forer in Springfield, Massachusetts, one of three children of father Maurice and mother Ida, The family resided at 75 Orange Street. Her voice was first broadcast in a local radio drama when she was 12 years old; by age 15, she was doing regular radio voice work. Two years later, after graduating from Classical High School, she moved with her parents and siblings to Los Angeles, California, near Ida's brother, after engineer Maurice fell on hard financial times. After entering radio through the WBZA Players and her own Lady Make Believe show, she soon became a popular voice actress, with regular appearances on coast-to-coast network shows including Lux Radio Theater and The Jimmy Durante Show.
In the 1940s, Foray also began film work, including a few appearances acting in live-action movies, but mostly doing voiceovers for animated cartoons and radio programs and occasionally dubbing films and television. On radio, Foray did the voices of Midnight the Cat and Old Grandie the Piano on The Buster Brown Program, which starred Smilin' Ed McConnell, from 1944 to 1952. She later did voices on the Mutual Network program Smile Time for Steve Allen. Her work in radio ultimately led her to recording for a number of children's albums for Capitol Records. For Walt Disney, Foray played Lucifer the Cat in the feature film Cinderella, Lambert's mother in Lambert the Sheepish Lion, a mermaid in Peter Pan and Witch Hazel in animated shorts; decades later, Foray would be the voice of Grandmother Fa in Disney's 1998 Mulan. She also did a variety of voices in Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Impressed by her performance as Witch Hazel, in 1954 Chuck Jones invited her over to Warner Brothers Cartoons. For Warner Brothers she was Granny (whom she has played, on and off, since 1955, taking over for Bea Benaderet), owner of Tweety and Sylvester, and a series of witches, including Looney Tunes' own Witch Hazel, with Jones as director. Like most of Warner Brothers' voice actors at the time, Foray was not credited for her roles in these cartoons. Foray voice-acted on The Smurfs as Jokey Smurf and Mother Nature; voiced Ursula on George of the Jungle; and on How the Grinch Stole Christmas voiced Cindy Lou Who, asking "Santa" why he's taking their tree. She was also the voice of the original "Chatty Cathy" doll. Foray voiced evil characters as well, such as the "Talking Tina" doll in The Twilight Zone episode ("Living Doll") as well as all the female roles in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975), including the villainous cobra Nagaina. Foray worked for Hanna-Barbera, including on The Flintstones, Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Jetsons and many other shows. (She tried out for the part of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones, but the part went to Bea Benaderet; Foray described herself as "terribly disappointed" at not getting to voice Betty.) She has done extensive voice acting for Stan Freberg's commercials, albums and 1957 radio series, memorably as secretary to the werewolf advertising executive. Foray has also appeared in several Rankin/Bass TV specials in the 1960s and 1970s, voicing the young Karen in the TV special Frosty the Snowman (although only her singing parts remained in later airings, after Rankin-Bass reedited the special a few years after it debuted, with Foray's speaking parts re-dubbed with an uncredited voice). For Jay Ward: she played nearly every female on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, including Natasha Fatale and Nell Fenwick, as well as male lead character Rocket J. Squirrel (a.k.a. Rocky Squirrel). Foray also voiced May Parker in "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" from 1981-83, as well as Magica De Spell and Ma Beagle in the televised cartoon DuckTales. In the later part of her career, she had a leading role voicing Grammi Gummi on the television series Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, working with her Rocky and Bullwinkle co-star Bill Scott until his death in 1985. Around 2003, she was a guest star in an episode of Powerpuff Girls. In October 2006, she portrayed Susan B. Anthony on three episodes of the podcast The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. Chuck Jones is reported to have said, "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc was the male June Foray." In the mid-1960s, she became devoted to the preservation and promotion of animation, and has since written numerous magazine articles about animation. In 1995, ASIFA-Hollywood, a chapter of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (the International Animated Film Association), established the June Foray Award, which is awarded to "individuals who have made a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation." Foray was the first recipient of the award. In 2007, Foray became a contributor to ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Archive Project. In 2007, Britt Irvin became the first person ever to voice a character in a cartoon remake that had been previously voiced by Foray in the original series when she started voicing the character Ursula in the new George of the Jungle cartoon series on the Cartoon Network. In 2011, Roz Ryan voiced Witch Lezah (Hazel spelled backwards) in The Looney Tunes Show, opposite June Foray. Foray guest-voiced only once on The Simpsons, in the season-one episode "Some Enchanted Evening", as the receptionist for the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service. This was a play on a Rocky & Bullwinkle gag years earlier in which none of the cartoon's characters, including narrator William Conrad, was able to pronounce "rubber baby buggy bumpers" unerringly. Foray was later homaged in The Simpsons, in the season-eight episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", in which the character June Bellamy is introduced as the voice behind both Itchy and Scratchy. Foray appeared on camera in a major role only once, in Sabaka as a high priestess of a fire cult. She also appeared on camera in an episode of Green Acres as a Mexican telephone operator. In 1991, she provided her voice as the sock-puppet talk-show host Scary Mary on an episode of Married... with Children. She played gag cameos in both 1992's Boris & Natasha and 2000's The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Another on-camera appearance was in the 1984 TV sitcom The Duck Factory, which starred Jim Carrey and Don Messick. Foray was often called for ADR voice work for television and feature films. This work included dubbing the voice of Mary Badham in The Twilight Zone episode "The Bewitchin' Pool" and the voices for Sean and Michael Brody in some scenes of the film Jaws. June Foray also dubbed several people in Bells Are Ringing, Diana Rigg in some scenes of The Hospital, Robert Blake in a drag in an episode of Baretta and a little boy in The Comic.
Foray's 90th birthday celebration, 2007 In 2000, Foray reprised her role as Rocky the Flying Squirrel in Universal Pictures' live-action/CGI animated film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, co-starring and produced by Robert De Niro. On Season Three, Episode One ("The Thin White Line") of Family Guy, Foray again reprised her role as Rocky in a visual gag with a single line ("And now, here's something we hope you'll really like!"). Foray voiced the wife of the man getting dunked ("Don't tell him, Carlos!") in Pirates of the Caribbean. In November 2009, Foray appeared twice on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: in one episode as Ruth, a pie-maker trapped in Bubbie's stomach, and in another episode as Kelly, a young nasty boy having a birthday party and as Kelly's Mom and Captain K'Nuckles' kindergarten teacher. In 2011, Foray reprised her role as Granny in Cartoon Network's new series, The Looney Tunes Show. That year, she received the Comic-Con Icon Award at the 2011 Scream Awards. She also appeared as Granny in the theatrically released Looney Tunes short, "I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat", which was shortlisted for Academy Award consideration In 2012, Foray received her first Emmy nomination, and won in the category of Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for her role as Mrs. Cauldron on The Garfield Show. At age 95, she is the oldest entertainer to be nominated for, and to win an Emmy Award. June Foray will be reprising her role of Rocky the Flying Squirrel in an upcoming series of Rocky and Bullwinkle shorts. In September 2013, she was honored with the Governors Award at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
June Foray first married Bernard Barondess in 1941. The marriage ended in divorce. She met Hobart Donavan on The Buster Brown Program on radio. He was the main writer and had also written The Buster Brown comic book. Foray married Hobart Donavan in 1954; he died in 1976.