Melvin Jerome Blank was born at San Francisco on this day in 1908, and grew up at Portland, Oregon. In high school he entertained his friends with jokes featuring multiple accents he picked up from his neighbors, and changed his last name to Blanc. He soon was performing on a radio show called “The Hoot Owls”, but when movies added sound, he headed for Hollywood. It took a few years, but he did the voice of a drunken bull in the 1937 Looney Tunes short “Picador Porky”. The actor voicing Porky Pig actually stuttered, when Blanc took over the role he took over the stutter as well. From there he moved on to Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Daffy Duck, Tweety Pie, Sylvester, Speedy Gonzalez, Pepe Le Pew, Tasmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn, and Yosemite Sam. In memory of Mel Blanc, the “Man of a Thousand Voices,” here are a few quotes on Voice.
Eloquence lies as much in the tone of the voice, in the eyes, and in the speaker's manner, as in his choice of words.
– François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, 1613 – 1680
People have to talk about something just to keep their good voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1922 – 2007
A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.
– Margaret Atwood
Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.
– Meg Chittenden
Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills.
– Catherine of Siena, 1347 – 1380
The devil's voice is sweet to hear.
– Stephen King
I know I am 42 years old; however there is nothing like a Mel Blanc cartoon to make me feel like a kid again.
In the immortal words of Porky Pig…
Thanks so much for the comments and the picture, sniff sniff [:)]
One of the few images that almost brought me to public tears was the tribute poster Warner Brothers brought out shortly after his death:
Not many people know that he also voiced Barney Rubble in the Flintstones and the Robot Twiggy from the Buck Rogers television series. He was also in Vaudeville known as the Man With A Thousand Voices.
Up until today I thought Woody Woodpecker was voiced by a woman. However you are right. Grace Stafford was the red headed trouble maker’s third voice.
Woody’s first voice was in fact Mel Blanc. Way to go Mel!