June Foray (born June Lucille Forer; September 18, 1917 – July 26, 2017) was an American television, stage, radio, movie, and voice actress. She was best known for providing voices in many golden age animation projects since the 1940's, most notably Rocky the Flying Squirrel in Rocky & Bullwinkle and Granny in many of the Looney Tunes productions, among many others.
Her career encompassed radio, theatrical shorts, feature films, television, records, video games, talking toys, and other media. Foray was also one of the early members of ASIFA-Hollywood, the society devoted to promoting and encouraging animation. She is credited with the establishment of the Annie Awards, as well as being instrumental in the creation of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2001.
Foray was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, where her voice was first broadcast in a local radio drama when she was 12 years of age; 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 there, including on the national programs of Jimmy Durante and Danny Thomas.
In the 1940s, she began film work as well, including a few appearances acting in live-action movies, but mostly doing voice-overs 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; 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 1943), owner of Tweety and Sylvester, and, memorably, a series of witches, including Witch Hazel, for Chuck Jones.
She voice acted on The Smurfs as Jokey Smurf and Mother Natura, Ursula in George of the Jungle, and Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. She also provided voices in numerous Hanna-Barbera productions, including The Flintstones, Tom & Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Jetsons, and many others. 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".
Most recognizable, though, is her work for Jay Ward: she played nearly every female on The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, including Natasha Fatale and Nell Fenwick, as well as Rocket J. "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.
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."
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." June Foray was the first recipient of the award.
On July 26, 2017, Foray died at a hospital in Los Angeles, California, 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.
- The Garfield Show (2009-2016) - Mrs. Cauldron
- The Snow Queen (1957) - Old Fairy, Henrietta, Old Robber, Laplander Woman, Finnish Woman, Additional Voices (Universal Dub)
- Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989) - Librarian