Rocky and Bullwinkle voice actor June Foray dead at 99
June Foray, the voice behind dozens of classic cartoon characters, has died in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 99.
Foray’s niece, Robin Thaler, confirmed the cause of death was cardiac arrest, but said her aunt had been in fragile health since a car accident two years ago.
Dave Nimitz, a close family friend, shared the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Nimitz said Foray was “resting peacefully now with her beloved sister Geri and Sam her brother-in-law.”
He also noted that the loss of June, Geri, and Sam has been difficult.
“I’m going out of my mind with the loss and losing all three of them within the last month-and-a-half,” he said in the post.
Throughout her decades-long career, Foray voiced some of Hollywood’s most memorable characters, including Granny on Sylvester and Tweety, Grandmother Fa in Mulan and Cindy Lou Who on the original animated version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Foray rose to fame as Rocky the flying squirrel in Rocky and Bullwinkle, which premiered in 1959.
Rocky was a hyperactive foil to his partner, Bullwinkle, the slow and steady moose. Together, the pair fought Cold War-type villains Boris and Natasha.
Foray voiced both Rocky and Natasha for the live-action film, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle in 2000.
Voice actor Kari Wahlgren of Rick and Morty and The Fairly Odd Parents tweeted about Foray’s inspirational impact on her.
Off-screen, Foray was a founder of the Annie Awards, which recognizes excellence in animation. The awards now have a category dedicated to the actress herself. The June Foray Award recognizes “individuals who have made a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.”
The International Animated Film Association of Hollywood, of which Foray was one of the founders, released a statement today:
“We miss our beloved June already but are content in the knowledge that she will live on in the hundreds of characters she created, the organization and awards she founded and the industry she fought for and cherished. We will never forget her.”