June Foray (born September 18, 1917, died July 26, 2017) was an American voice actress, best known as the voice of many animated characters (particularly Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, Jokey Smurf, and Granny). 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.

Early life

Foray was born as June Lucille Forer, the second of three children (the other two were her elder brother Bertram and younger sister Geraldine) of Maurice Forer and Ida E. Robinson in Springfield, Massachusetts,[1] on September 18, 1917 (but some sources cite 1919 and 1920 as her year of birth).[2][3] There 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, she moved to Los Angeles, California, and soon became a popular voice actress on radio, with regular appearances on coast-to-coast broadcasts starring Jimmy Durante and Danny Thomas.

Acting career

In the 1940s, she began film work as well, including a few appearances acting in live-action movies, but mostly doing voiceovers for animated cartoons. At 4'11", Foray's diminutive stature somewhat limited her stage and on-camera acting career.

For Walt Disney, she played Lucifer the Cat in the feature film Cinderella, Raja the villainous tiger in the cartoon Goliath II, mermaids in Peter Pan and his Witch Hazel character; Foray would later be the voice of Grandmother Fa in Mulan in 1998; she also did a variety of voices in Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker cartoons. For Warner Brothers Cartoons, she was Granny (whom she has played, on and off, since 1955, taking over for Bea Benaderet), owner of Tweety and Sylvester, and, memorably, a series of witches, including Witch Hazel, for Chuck Jones; plus, she served as the narrator of Really Scent. She is also the voice of Granny on Baby Looney Tunes. She voices Mall Walker, Man, and Lady in Random! Cartoons.

She voice acted on The Smurfs as Jokey Smurf and Mother Nature, Ursula in George of the Jungle, and on How the Grinch Stole Christmas as Cindy Lou Who, asking "Santa" why he's taking their tree. She was the voice of the original "Chatty Cathy" doll as well as the voice of the evil "Talky Tina" doll in The Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll". She voiced the wife of the man getting dunked ("Don't tell him, Carlos!") in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Foray worked for Hanna-Barbera, including The Flintstones, Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Jetsons, and many others. 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, most notably as the original voice of the young girl, Karen, in the TV special Frosty the Snowman (though only her singing parts remain in current airings, after Rankin-Bass re-edited the special a few years after it debuted, with Foray's speaking parts re-dubbed with an uncredited voice).

Most recognizable, though, is her work for Jay Ward: she played nearly every female on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, including Natasha Fatale and Nell Fenwick, as well as Rocket J. Squirrel, who was a boy (a.k.a. Rocky Squirrel). Foray also voiced Magica De Spell and Ma Beagle in the televised cartoon DuckTales. Most significantly 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, where she worked with her Rocky & Bullwinkle co-star Bill Scott for the final time until his death in 1985.

Foray and Stan Freberg are among the few surviving voice artists from the Golden Age of theatrical cartoons. She remains active to this day, with roles in recent animated films, such as Mulan (as Grandmother Fa) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Around 2003, she is a special guest star in an episode of the Powerpuff Girls. In October 2006, she portrayed Susan B. Anthony on three episodes of the podcast The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd.

Renowned animator/director Chuck Jones is reported to have said, "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc was the male June Foray."[4]

In 1995, ASIFA-Hollywood, a chapter of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (the International Animated Film Association), established the June Foray Award,[5] 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 (Foray's former character) in the new George of the Jungle cartoon series on the Cartoon Network. June Foray was also the voice of Queen Tabitha in the Don Bluth Film Thumbelina.

Foray guest-starred once on The Simpsons, in the Season 1 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 Bill Conrad, could pronounce "rubber baby buggy bumpers" unerringly. This was also a problem in a Tom Slick episode, regular feature on the George of the Jungle cartoon show. Foray was later homaged in The Simpsons, in the season 8 episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" in which a character named June Bellamy is introduced as the voice behind both Itchy & Scratchy. She was voiced by series regular Tress MacNeille, though her "Itchy" and "Scratchy" voices were performed by Dan Castellaneta and Harry Shearer, respectively.

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 the television show 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.

In Season Three, Episode One ("The Thin White Line") of Family Guy, Foray reprised her role as Rocky in a visual gag with a single line ("And now, here's something we hope you'll really like!").

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 boy having a birthday party.


Foray died at a hospital in Los Angeles, California on July 26, 2017, at the age of 99, less than two months before her 100th birthday. She had been in declining health since an automobile accident in 2015.

Further reading

  • Foray, June (2006). Perverse, Adverse and Rottenverse. Albany, New York: BearManor Media (ISBN 1-59393-020-8)

See also


  1. 1920 U.S. census
  2. Film Reference bio
  3. Movieeye.com
  4. "The Remarkable June Foray". Animation World Magazine. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  5. annieawards.org

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name

{{Persondata |NAME= Foray, June |ALTERNATIVE NAMES= |SHORT DESCRIPTION= American voice actor |DATE OF BIRTH= September 18, 1917 |PLACE OF BIRTH= Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S. |DATE OF DEATH= July 26, 2017 |PLACE OF DEATH= Los Angeles, California, U.S.

ar:جوون فوراي da:June Foray id:June Foray pt:June Foray ru:Форей, Джун fi:June Foray tr:June Foray

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