Spring 2018

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56 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2018 | Snapshot by Valerie Yaros "S anty Claus, why? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?" Millions have heard these plaintive words from trusting 2-year-old Cindy Lou Who in the 1966 animated special How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the Grinch's lying reply of taking the tree to his workshop to repair a light. But SAG-AFTRA members can also view it as an exchange between the union board members who voiced the characters: June Foray of AFTRA's national and Los Angeles Local Board and Boris Karloff, SAG co-founder, former National Board member and officer — plus bass-voiced Thurl Ravenscroft, SAG National Board member, singing You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. In the 1940s, Foray contributed a regular lighthearted column, Feedbacks, to the L.A. Local's Dial-Log newsletter and was a regular AFRA/AFTRA convention delegate for many years. For more than 80 years until her death last July, shortly before her 100th birthday, the petite Foray was a prolific and versatile vocal powerhouse. Starting on radio in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, she went on to find success not only in movie and TV animation, but in radio and TV commercials, albums, looping and even video games. Standout characters included Rocky the Flying Squirrel; Natasha Fatale, the Balkan spy; sinister cat Lucifer in Walt Disney's Cinderella; Tweety bird's sweet owner, Grandma; and the murderous doll in a 1963 Twilight Zone episode who warns actor Telly Savalas, "My name is Talky Tina and I'm going to kill you." Her career accomplishments would fill a book far larger than her 2009 memoir Did You Grow Up With Me Too? It was published nine years after she was awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. In 2012, at age 94, long after most would have hung up their microphones, she became the oldest recipient of an Emmy Award: a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for her work on The Garfield Show. In 2013, the Television Academy presented her with its Governor's Award at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, explaining, "Each year, the board of governors recognizes a person or organization whose contributions to our industry will forever live on. June Foray absolutely embodies everything that this honor represents. A legend and a pioneer, June is not only in a class of her own, but she literally created that class. There is simply no one more deserving of this honor." Foray's Walk of Fame star is located at 7080 Hollywood Blvd. Snapshot by Valerie Yaros Who was June Foray? Voiceover actor June Foray, at left in the 1950s, was the iconic voice of many animated TV characters, as seen on this promo she used: Nell, Natasha and Rocky from Jay Ward's The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show; Grammi Gummi from Disney's The Adventures of the Gummi Bears; Jokey Smurf, from Hanna-Barbera's The Smurfs. Bottom, a caricature of Foray from the 1946 AFRA National Convention program.

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