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Paul Winchell

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Paul Winchell

Paul Winchell (December 21, 1922 – June 24, 2005) was an American ventriloquist, voice actor, comedian, inventor, and humanitarian, whose entertainment career flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. From 1950-1954, he hosted The Paul Winchell Show, which also used two other titles during its prime time run on NBC, The Speidel Show and What's My Name? From 1965-1968, Winchell hosted the children's television series, Winchell-Mahoney Time. Winchell also made guest appearances on television series such as the role of murder victim Henry Clement in the 1964 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Nervous Neighbor"; and two appearances as Homer Winch on The Beverly Hillbillies in 1962. Winchell, who had medical training, was also an inventor, becoming the first person to build and patent a mechanical artificial heart, implantable in the chest cavity (US Patent #3097366). He has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television. Winchell's best-known ventriloquist dummies were Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff.

Paul Winchell voiced Sam-I-Am, Guy in the Hat and a few Sneetches on Dr. Seuss on the Loose.

Voice acting

Winchell's career after 1968, included a great deal of voice acting for animated cartoons, most notably for Disney and Hanna-Barbera. For the latter, he played the character Dick Dastardly in multiple series (notably Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines); Clyde and Softy on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop; and Fleegle on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and Gargamel on The Smurfs. He also provided the voice of Bubi Bear in Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch! in 1971, the voice of Revs on Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, as Moe on The Robonic Stooges (a role he previously played on The New Scooby Doo Movies), and Shake on The CB Bears. In 1973, he did the voice of Goober the Dog on the H-B show Goober and the Ghost Chasers and also guest starred as the rain-making villain on an episode of Hong Kong Phooey. For Disney, Winchell was best known for voicing the character Tigger in Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh films, and won a Grammy Award for his performance in Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.[4] Beginning with the television series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, he alternated in the role with Jim Cummings, the current voice of Pooh. Winchell's final performance as Tigger was in 1999 in Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You (though Winchell played Tigger one more time in the attraction The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh featured in the Disney theme parks). Following Winchell's retirement, Cummings permanently took over the role of Tigger starting with Sing a Song with Pooh Bear in 1999. Other Disney roles included parts in The Aristocats as a Siamese cat named Shun Gon, and The Fox and the Hound as Boomer the woodpecker. He was also the original voice of Zummi Gummi on the TV series Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears for seasons 1-5; Jim Cummings took over for the final season in 1990. Winchell provided the voices of Sam-I-Am and his unnamed friend in Green Eggs and Ham from the animated television special Dr. Seuss on the Loose in 1973. He also performed the voice of Fleabag on The Oddball Couple, Fearless Freddy the Shark Hunter on the Pink Panther cartoon spin-off Misterjaw in 1976, as well as a number of one-shot characters in The Blue Racer series. In commercials, he voiced the character of Burger Chef for the fast food chain of the same name, the Scrubbing Bubbles for Dow Chemicals and Mr. Owl for Tootsie Roll Pops. From 1981 to 1989, the talented voice actor performed one of his most notable roles; that of Gargamel on The Smurfs as well as on several Smurfs television movies. During the 1980s, he was called upon by Hanna-Barbera to reprise his role of Dick Dastardly on Yogi's Treasure Hunt (which was a tour-de-force featuring all of H-B characters) and later on Wake, Rattle and Roll (which was a Wacky Races spin-off). Also on the animated movie Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose, he did the voice of the Dread Baron, who was previously voiced by John Stephenson on the Laugh-a-Lympics. The evil character is incredible similar to Dastardly, including having a canine henchman Mumbly, voiced by Don Messick Muttley's voice.

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