Daws Butler

Daws Butler

Original Name Charles Dawson Butler
Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA
Death 18 May 1988 (aged 71)
Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Mother of Sorrows, section 515
Memorial ID 23206 · View Source
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Cartoon Voice Actor. He is remembered as the voice of many Hanna-Barbara Cartoon characters, including Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, and Snagglepuss. Born Charles Dawson Butler, an only child, his family moved to Oak Park, Illinois where he became interested in impersonating people. In 1934 he started as an impressionist, entering multiple amateur contests in an effort to overcome his shyness and won most of them. This led to professional engagements at vaudeville theaters. Later he teamed up with fellow performers, Jack Lavin and Willard Ovitz to form the comedy trio The Three Short Waves, and they played in theaters, radio and nightclubs, generating positive reviews from regional critics and audiences. In late 1941 he joined the US Navy when the US entered World War II and the trio broke up. Following the end of World War II, his first voice work for an animated character came in 1948 in the animated short "Short Snorts on Sports," which was produced by Screen Gems. He was then hired by animator Tex Avery at MGM Studios, to provide the voice of a British wolf on "Little Rural Riding Hood" (1949) and also narrate several of his cartoons. Throughout the decade, he had roles in many Avery-directed cartoons, 'The Fox' in "Out-Foxed," 'The Narrator' in "The Cuckoo Clock," 'The Cobbler' in "The Peachy Cobbler," 'Mr. Theeves' in Droopy's "Double Trouble", 'Mysto the Magician' in "Magical Maestro," 'John the Cab' and 'John the B-29 Bomber' in "One Cab's Family," and 'Little Johnny Jet' and 'Maxie' in "The Legend of Rockabye Point." In 1949 he obtained a role in a televised puppet show created by former Warner Bros. cartoon director Bob Clampett called "Time for Beany." He was teamed up with Stan Freberg, and together they did all the voices of the puppets, and he provided toe voice of 'Beany Boy' and 'Captain Huffenpuff'. The show ran from 1949 to 1954 and won several Emmy Awards, and was the basis for the cartoon "Beany and Cecil." He briefly turned his attention to television commercials, although he quickly moved to providing the voice to many nameless Walter Lantz characters for theatrical shorts later seen on the "Woody Woodpecker" program. His notable character was the penguin 'Chilly Willy' and his sidekick, the southern-speaking dog 'Smedley'. During this time Freberg asked him to help him write comedy skits for his Capitol Records albums. Their first collaboration, "St. George and the Dragon-Net" (based on Dragnet), was the first comedy record to sell over one million copies. Freberg was more of a satirist who did song parodies, but the bulk of his "talking" routines were co-written by, and co-starred by Butler. He also teamed up again with Freberg and cartoon actress June Foray in a CBS radio comedy series, "The Stan Freberg Show," which ran from July to October 1957 as a summer replacement for Jack Benny's program. In 1957 MGM Studios closed down their animation division, and producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera quickly formed their own company, and he provided his voice, along with Don Messick. The first, "The Ruff & Reddy Show" where he voiced 'Reddy' set the formula for the rest of the series of cartoons that the two would helm until the mid-1960s. From the 1960s to the 1980s he voiced the breakfast cereal mascot 'Cap'n Crunch' that became an icon of sorts on Saturday morning television through many commercials, basing it off character actor Charles Butterworth. In 1961, when voice animator Mel Blanc was recovering from a motor vehicle accident, he stepped in to voice Barney Rubble in five episodes of "The Flintstones." In the 1970s he was the voice of 'Hair Bear' on "Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!" and a few characters in minor cartoons such as "C.B. Bears." On "Wacky Races," he provided the voices for a number of the racers, including 'Rock Slag', 'Big Gruesome', the 'Red Max', 'Sgt. Blast', 'Peter Perfect', and 'Rufus Ruffcut'. On Laff-a-Lympics, he was virtually the entire 'Yogi Yahooey' team. He voiced a penguin and a turtle in the 1964 musical fantasy film "Mary Poppins," his only known work for Walt Disney. He also provided voices for countless children's records featuring recreations of several successful Disney cartoons and films. In 1975 he began an acting workshop that spawned such talents as Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons), Corey Burton (Old Navy, Disney), and Joe Bevilacqua (NPR). Throughout the 1970s and 1980s he remained somewhat low-key until a 1985 revival of "The Jetsons." Also in 1983, he voiced the title character, 'Wacky WallWalker' in "Deck the Halls with Wacky Walls." In 1988, "The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound" was released, a "tour-de-force" featuring most of his classic early characters. He died from a heart attack at the age of 71.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 21 Jul 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 23206
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Daws Butler (16 Nov 1916–18 May 1988), Find a Grave Memorial no. 23206, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .