The Versatile Voice of June Foray: 1917-2017

Friday, 28 July 2017 04:02 AM Written by 


 The late June Foray who died Wednesday at 99 stands as one of America's greatest and most beloved voice actors. The Massachusett native, born June Lucille Forer, would have turned 100 on September 18. Her radio career began when she was 12 and did her first radio apperance, and she wrote and hosted a children's show, Lady Make Believe, at WBZ in Boston before her family moved to Los Angeles in 1935.

In Hollywood, network radio work came over the next decade. She'd work with some of the biggest names in entertainment during that time, from Jimmy Durante to Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and Stan Freberg and remained in demand into her mid-90's voicing countless cartoon characters. She did her final part in 2014. A 2015 vehicle crash ended her distinguished career.

Some career benchmarks.

1946: on Smile Time. This Monday-Friday radio show from Hollywood for Mutual Radio starred Steve Allen and his comedy partner Wendell Noble, a decade before Allen created The Tonight Show. Foray was a regular. It's notable to hear Allen and Foray this early.

1953: "St. George and the Dragonet" - Stan Freberg live The Ed Sullivan Show. Second of the master musical satirist's Dragnet parodies and his only # 1 record, Freberg spoofs Sgt. Joe Friday with Foray and fellow voice actor Daws Butler. Freberg rarely performed on TV, and as for Jack Webb, he was Freberg's biggest fan and quietly helped him make the spoofs authentic.

1954: "Sh-Boom"-Stan Freberg. The rock-and-roll hating Freberg's cutting parody of the early R&B-rock hit, with Foray as "Stella." The band here was arranged and conducted by Pittsburgh-born Billy May, known for his work with Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole and others. Note he throws a bit of Brando's famous "Stella!" bit from On The Waterfront at the end.

1955: The Johnny Carson Show. This CBS show from Hollywood was Carson's network debut. He'd previously hosted Carson's Cellar, a low-budget local show Foray, seen here playing the housewife, was a regular on both Carson shows.

1959: As Rocky The Flying Squirrel. A Jets Cereal commercial with Bullwinkle.  The show's late co-creator Bill Scott voiced Bullwinkle J. Moose.

As spy Natasha Fatale in a Rocky Boris and Natasha segment.


1963: The Twilight Zone's "Talky Tina," voiced by Foray. for the episode "Living Doll," starring future Kojak Telly Savalas.

2010: Foray on Rocky and Bullwinkle. The interview was done for Emmy TV Legends, a historical effort connected to Television Foundation Academy and the Emmys. Note:she was 93, and referring Rocky creators Jay Ward and Bill Scott.  The complete interview, available here, is near-definitive.



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