- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 8, 2006

A great animated character needs more than just the best artists — it needs a voice, an actor who can evoke emotion with just a few distinctive syllables. The following five persons have contributed singular vocals to a number of iconic cartoon figures. Out of fairness, we’re omitting the late, great Mel Blanc, who voiced so many classic characters for Warner Bros. — from Bugs to Daffy and Elmer — that he’d be No. 1 on anyone’s list.

Casey Kasem Mr. Kasem is Norville Rogers, or Scooby Doo’s best bud Shaggy to you and me. The venerable —DJc jockey forged a profitable second career as a cartoon voice actor, including stints giving life to an animated Robin of Batman & Robin fame.

Jim Backus — Just imagine his myopic mumbler Mr. Magoo and try not to smile.

Thurl Ravenscroft — He not only gave us the Frosted Flakes tag line “They’re great!” but he sang those deliciously wicked Grinch songs in the famous yuletide special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Herschel Bernardi — He makes the list based on three words, two letters — the unmistakable “Ho, ho, ho” of the Jolly Green Giant. For extra credit, Mr. Bernardi also gave voice to Charlie the Tuna.

Gilbert Gottfried— This sawed-off comic may be as grating as a car horn, but there’s no mistaking his screechy squawk of a voice. Mr. Gottfried puts it to good use in both Disney’s “Aladdin” and as the AFLAC insurance company’s quacking mascot.

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