John Donald Fiedler (February 3, 1925 – June 25, 2005) was an American voice actor and character actor in stage, film, television and radio. He was slight, balding, and bespectacled, with a high, piping voice and a career lasting four decades.
He is best remembered for three roles: as the nervous Juror #2 in 12 Angry Men, as the voice of Piglet in Disney's many Winnie the Pooh productions, and in the role of Mr. Peterson, the nervous patient on The Bob Newhart Show.
Fiedler was born in Platteville, Wisconsin, a son of Donald Fiedler, a beer salesman, and his wife Margaret Phelan. He moved to Shorewood, Wisconsin, at the age of 5, where he graduated from Shorewood High School in 1943. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and served until the end of World War II
Following his discharge from the Navy, Fiedler began acting in New York City. He appeared on the radio comedy The Aldrich Family as Homer Brown. He also appeared on early television and was very popular as Cadet Alfie Higgins on the 1950s show Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. Fiedler made his film debut in 1957 in 12 Angry Men , as Juror #2. Most of his roles were playing gentle or nervous individuals, though he appeared in the original Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" as a Chief Administrator possessed by the spirit of Jack the Ripper.
Fiedler was in the original cast of A Raisin in the Sun (as housing committee representative Lindner, which he would play in both the 1961 film version and the 1988 TV version), and The Odd Couple (as poker player Vinnie). He appeared in the films True Grit, The Cannonball Run, and Harper Valley PTA. His many guest appearances on TV included Bewitched, Get Smart, The Rockford Files, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, The Golden Girls and Cheers. He had a recurring role on Kolchak: The Night Stalker as morgue attendant Gordy "The Ghoul" Spangler. He also played Mr. Peterson, one of Bob's regular patients, on the The Bob Newhart Show, and Mr. Dundee in the 47th episode of the Twilight Zone, "The Night of the Meek".
Fiedler's voice was heard in the Disney features The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, Robin Hood, The Emperor's New Groove, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, and Pooh's Heffalump Movie. His last film was a voice appearance in Kronk's New Groove.
John Fiedler died of cancer on June 25, 2005, at the age of 80 in Englewood, New Jersey, at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home, a residence for retired entertainers sponsored by the Actors' Fund. His death came one day after the death of his fellow Winnie-the-Pooh co-star, Paul Winchell, who supplied the voice of Tigger. After Fiedler's death, the voice of Piglet was provided by Travis Oates.
Fiedler never married, and was survived by a sister Mary Fielder-Dean and a brother James Fiedler along with many nieces and nephews.
- John Fiedler Biography (1925-)
- O'Donnell, Michelle. "John Fiedler, 80, Stage Actor and Film Voice of Pooh's Piglet, Dies", New York Times, June 27, 2005. Accessed December 15, 2007. "He graduated from Shorewood High School in 1943 and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving stateside until World War II's end."
- Bernstein, Adam. "Actor John Fiedler Dies; Was Piglet's Voice in 'Pooh' Films", The Washington Post. June 28, 2005. Accessed December 15, 2007. "John Fiedler, 80, a stage, film and television actor who excelled at meek or nervous roles and was personally chosen by Walt Disney to play the voice of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh films, died June 25 at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home in Englewood, N.J."
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