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Mel Blanc
Original name: Melvin Jerome Blank
Birth: May 30, 1908
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA
Death: Jul. 10, 1989
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Voice Actor. His career spanned radio, movies and television starting in the early 1930's and even continued after his death into 2000. A television commercial for American Express charge card was revived after his death. His birth and death years appeared on the bottom of the screen at the end of the commercial, both to promote their card, and pay tribute to Mel Blanc. The rarely seen voice innovator even did sound effects. He literally performed in over a thousand shows. Some of the cartoon characters he voiced...Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, The Tasmanian Devil, Speedy Gonzalez, Elmer Fudd, Barney Rubble, Dino and Heathcliff. He was born Melvin Jerome Blank in San Francisco to Frederick and Eva Blank, managers of a women's retail clothing business but was raised in Portland, Oregon from an early age. He attended Lincoln High School and was constantly in trouble becoming the class clown mimicking foreign accents resulting in admonishment by the teacher using his name to degrade him. He began to spell his name Blanc and later changed it legally. A poor student, however, very popular with his classmates but often annoyed his teachers and principals. He loved doing voice exercises in the school hallways because of the echo. A cackle imitated here became the hallmark for Woody Woodpecker. Mel had his eye on the theatre as he constantly skipped school to attend vaudeville shows. After high school, he drove to Hollywood to try his luck which was dismal. However, he found a wife and returned to Portland landing a radio job with local station KGW and even given his own show called "Cobwebs & Nuts." The couple moved back to Hollywood and tried again. Mel landed a job with Disney, doing the voice of the cat in the movie Pinocchio. He was a natural for radio which was at its peak. His ability to create voices for multiple characters landed him a job on the Jack Benny Program. He performed various roles including Benny's Maxwell auto in desperate need of a tune up. Mel joined Leon Schlesinger Studio's (subsidiary of Warner Brothers) which produced animated cartoons. He had arrived, his wild mimicking crazy childhood had led him to a career which would last the rest of his life. At Warner's, Mel was the first to receive a movie credit. It was a landmark innovation as it not only gave recognition to him but others who labored behind the cameras. During his days at the studio, they earned five Oscars for cartoons he was involved with. The first award came in 1947 for "Tweety Pie." By the time Warner Brothers closed its animation shop in 1969, Blanc had performed around 700 human and animal characters and created voices for 848 of the studio's 1,003 cartoons. Blanc's last original character was an orange cat called "Heathcliff" and as his career wound down due to age, he continued to voice his famous characters in commercials and on TV specials. He died at age 81 in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from emphysema and heart failure. "That's all, folks!" (Tag line of every WB cartoon) became the epitaph on his headstone. Legacy...For his contribution to radio, Mel Blanc has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His autobiography, "That's Not All, Folks" was published in 1988. He received the Legion of Honor in 1966 and was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame in 1987. Mel Blanc called the 1957 Oscar wining cartoon "Birds Anonymous" his all-time favorite and producer Eddie Selzer bequeathed the statue to him upon his death. (cartoon Oscars are only awarded to producers) In a bit of trivia...A near fatal car accident in 1961 narrowly missed taking his life. Many cartoon productions required his services. He fulfilled his contracts by doing his character voice in a full body cast from his hospital bed and continued the process while convalescing at home with recording equipment crowded into his room. (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Estelle Rosenbaum Blanc (1910 - 2003)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of the Exodus (formerly Pineland, Section 13), L-149, next to the road
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 100
Mel Blanc
Added by: Anonymous
 
Mel Blanc
Added by: A.J. Marik
 
Mel Blanc
Added by: Jim Tipton
 
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