Voice acting legend June Foray dies at 99

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Jul 27, 2017, 3:12 PM EDT (Updated)

June Foray, a voice acting legend who performed in eight decades, has passed away at the age of 99. Her death was announced by close friend Dave Nimitz Wednesday.

Foray's work is virtually impossible to have missed if you've seen any animation in the last century. While she gained fame as Rocky the Squirrel and Natasha Fatale -- yes, she voiced both one of the main protagonists and antagonists on the original Rocky and His Friends cartoon series from 1959 to 1961 -- at that point her voice was already unmissable, thanks to her work with the Looney Tunes of Warner Bros. animation. If you've watched 10 Looney Tunes shorts, you've probably heard Foray's voice five times. That includes voicing Granny in the Tweety shorts, and Witch Hazel, a famous foil of Bugs Bunny himself. So prolific was her work with the Looney Tunes characters that Chuck Jones once said, "June Foray isn't the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc is the male June Foray."

She became the go-to voiceover artist of the '60s, often voicing children and toddlers for live-action TV series or being the voice heard over announcements and intercoms, while never leaving animation, where she worked for both WB and Disney and beyond. She was the voice of Aunt May on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the '80s, Jokey Smurf, and entered a new generation's imaginations as Magica De Spell, Mrs. Featherby, and Ma Beagle on Ducktales.

In Tiny ToonsGummi BearsGarfield and Friends, and Dennis the Menace, all the way up into Mulan, Family Guy, and even the rebooted Looney Tunes Show, Foray's voice has been heard over and over. She also made her voice heard about making sure voice actors got rights and credit, even helping create the Annie Awards (and having their version of the lifetime achievement award named after her).

Rest in peace, June Foray. Thanks for several lifetimes of memories.

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