June Foray: September 18, 1917 – July 26, 2017. Probably the best known voice actress of the 20th Century, and beyond, June Foray has died at the age of 99. The cause of death has yet to be announced, but it is presumed that she died of natural causes.
She was the voice of Granny and Witch Hazel in classic Warner Brothers cartoons. She voiced Disney films from Oswald The Lucky Rabbit to Mulan’s Grandmother Fa; and of course, Rocket J. Squirrel, Bullwinkle’s best pal — to say nothing of Cindy Lou Who, and Talky Tina, the scariest doll in all of the Twilight Zone, and the comedy albums of Stan Freberg.
June was a founding member of ASIFA-Hollywood, a chapter of the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (International Animated Film Association). She is credited with founding their coveted Annie Award, and the organization also bestows the June Foray Award to “individuals who have made a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.” Foray was the first recipient of the award in 1995. She also had sat on the Governors’ board for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and lobbied for two decades for the Academy to establish an Academy Award for animation; the Academy created the category for Best Animated Feature in 2001 from her petitioning. In 2013, she received the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Chuck Jones is reported to have said, “June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc was the male June Foray.” She taught classes frequently, and her example will keep teaching generations of voice talent to come. Those who knew and worked with her still loved her, and that’s the greatest tribute of all.