Another icon of my youth has died. However, he brought joy and happiness to billions of people around the world thru his long and successful career. He was truly a genius and one-of-a-kind. May he rest in peace, and my deepest sympathy to his wife and family.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Paul Winchell (December 21, 1922 - June 23, 2005), born Paul Wilchen, is a ventriloquist and voice actor whose fame flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. He is also an amateur inventor and he patented an artificial human heart which he donated to the University of Utah.
The ventriloquist figures for which he was best known include Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. Both figures were carved by Chicago-based figure maker Frank Marshall. His first series as a ventriloquist was actually on radio with Mahoney in 1943; the program was short-lived, as he was overshadowed by Edgar Bergen, though radio historian John Dunning, in his 1998 tome On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio, felt Winchell was the better ventriloquist.
His later career included a great deal of voice-over acting for animated cartoons, notably for Disney and Hanna-Barbera. For the latter, he played the character **** Dastardly in several series (notably Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley, Fleagle Beagle on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and Gargamel on The Smurfs. For Disney, he was best known for voicing the character Tigger from Disney's Winnie the Pooh films. 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. In a somewhat controversial move, Cummings took over permanently beginning with The Tigger Movie in 2000 (though Winchell played Tigger one last time in a Walt Disney World Pooh attraction). Other Disney roles included parts in The Aristocats as a Chinese cat and The Fox and the Hound as Boomer the woodpecker. On TV, he played Zummi Gummi on The Gummi Bears, and in commercials, voiced the Scrubbing Bubbles for Dow Chemicals. Other work included on-camera guest appearances on such series as The Beverly Hillbillies, The Lucy Show, and The Brady Bunch, as well as a part in the Jerry Lewis movie Which Way to the Front?.
He had five children: one son Stacy Paul Winchell and a daughter Stephanie from his first marriage to Dorothy (Dottie) Movitz, a daughter April Winchell, a comedian and voice actress, from his marriage to actress Nina Russel and two step-sons Larry and Keith Freeman from his current marriage to Jean Freeman.
In later years, Winchell wrote an autobiography, Winch (2004), and started several websites, including his personal page and the religious webpage ProtectGod.com (currently defunct).
Last edited by Jiminy Cricket; 06-26-2005 at 11:56 AM.
Lord High Keeper of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, Counselor in Moments of Temptation, and Guide along the Straight and Narrow Path and Oldest Active DWT/WDW Radio Member
DL: 1955* (1); WDW: 1977* (2), 1980* (2), 1985* (3), 1989* (3), 1996 (ASMu-3), 1999 (ASMo-3), 2000 (ASMu-2/PO-2), 2001 (ASMu-5), 2002 (ASMu-5), 2003 (ASMo-5), 2004* (8), 2004 (ASMo-8), 2005 (PC-10), 2006* (15), 2007* (20), 2008* (22), 2009* (26), 2010* (27), 2011* (32), 2012* (39), 2013* (36), 2013* (15), 2013* (9), 2013* (13), 2014* (40) Total Trips/Days = 26/353