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Mel Blanc: Man of a Thousand Voices

Published: 5/30/2013

One hundred and five years ago, on May 30, 1908, a voice was born… or was it a thousand voices? On Mel Blanc's birthday, we celebrate his prolific work in classic cartoons.

Mel Blanc was truly the "Man of a Thousand Voices." The list of cartoon characters he brought to life goes on and on… from Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, to Barney Rubble, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn and so many more. Movie critic Leonard Maltin once noted, "It is astounding to realize that Tweety Bird and Yosemite Sam are the same man!"

Mel Blanc poses with Bugs Bunny at his 80th birthday party in Los Angeles, June 2, 1988. (AP Photo)
Mel Blanc poses with Bugs Bunny at his 80th birthday party in Los Angeles, June 2, 1988. (AP Photo)

Even more than 20 years after Blanc's death, the voices he created are instantly recognizable to generations of viewers. We've collected a few of our favorites to watch (and listen to!) in honor of this comedy great.

Foghorn Leghorn is still is still in action today and has been voiced by a number of actors, but none match the blustery chicken's creator, Blanc.

Blanc voiced both Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird, two of the all-time classic cartoon rivals.

While Blanc is best known for his work with Warner Bros. cartoons, he also worked on some of the Hanna-Barbera greats – notably, he was disapproving boss Mr. Spacely on The Jetsons.

And of course, there's the most famous of them all, Bugs Bunny. We loved that wascally wabbit – and the Tasmanian Devil, too, also voiced by Blanc.

We leave you with Blanc's immortal sign-off. Porky Pig, take it away.

Written by Linnea Crowther

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