June Foray, voice of many cartoon characters, dies at 99

June Foray, voice of many cartoon characters, dies at 99”

Though perhaps best known for playing Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, her impressive career spanned eight decades in radio, television, and film.

Beyond her lasting impact as a voice actress, June Foray's legacy also includes the Annie Awards, an annual award ceremony for excellence in the field of animation that had started in 1972.

It was in 1959 that Foray would pick up the role that made her famous, giving voice to Rocket J. Squirrel as well as almost every female character that appeared in Rocky And His Friends (including Natasha Fatale).

Foray was the first voice of Betty Rubble when The Flintstones were known as The Flagstones.

Foray won a Grammy in 1968 for her work on the holiday classic'How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Foray won a Grammy in 1968 for her work on the holiday classic'How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Her death was confirmed by Dave Nimitz, a close friend of the actor, in a Facebook post Wednesday, saying: "With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old she is resting peacefully now with her beloved sister Geri and Sam her brother-in-law". Her hundreds of roles also included Granny in the "Tweety and Sylvester" cartoons, Nell from "Dudley Do-Right", Aunt May in "The Amazing Spider-Man", Grandma Fu in Disney's "Mulan", and the Looney Tunes' Witch Hazel.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Foray won a Daytime Emmy for "The Garfield Show" in 2012, in which she played Mrs Cauldron who described herself as "your friendly neighborhood old lady, who might be a witch". "I love the [Rocky and] Bullwinkle show because it's so mordantly witty", she said. She was one of the authors (and various time champ) of the Annie Awards, which perceive brilliance in liveliness, and helped push for enlivened movies to be perceived by the Oscars. Foray was a trailblazer for women, animation, and Hollywood as a whole, and the industry will miss her greatly. She was then married to writer and director Hobart Donavan, from 1954 until his death in 1976.

Foray was born September 18, 1917, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and was already acting on major radio shows in her teens. She worked well into the 21st century, reprising her role as Rocky in 2000's The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle starring Robert De Niro and can be heard in the 2014 DreamWorks short Rocky and Bullwinkle.

June also published two bestselling books during her life: a collection of essays titled Perverse, Adverse and Rottenverse and her autobiography Did You Grow Up With Me, Too?

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