Mel Blanc - The Man of a Thousand Voices
Melvin Jerome Blank, son of Frederick and Eva Blank, was born in San Francisco, California but later moved to Portland, Oregon during high school. When he was 16 he changed the spelling of his surnam ... show more
Melvin Jerome Blank, son of Frederick and Eva Blank, was born in San Francisco, California but later moved to Portland, Oregon during high school. When he was 16 he changed the spelling of his surname to Blanc to overcome harsh words of a teacher. The teacher told him that he would amount to nothing, ultimately living up to be a blank. Soon thereafter, he dropped out of high school and split time between leading an orchestra and performing shtick in Vaudeville shows around Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.
Blanc began his career on the radio at age 19 in 1927. He moved to Los Angeles in 1932 and met his wife Estelle Rosenbaum. With her encouragement, the two moved back to LA where he continued in radio. In 1937, Mel joined Leon Schlesinger Productions who created cartoons for Warner Bros. He replaced Joe Dougherty, as the voice of Porky Pig due to production cost. Blanc was able to harness the stutter whereas Dougherty's real stutter made for long studio hours. Blanc went on to be the permanent voice of Porky Pig until his death in 1989.
Some of the characters he voiced Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil, Barney Ruble, Mr. Spacely and Papa Smurf.
Mel Blanc has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.