June Foray, voice of Rocky the squirrel and Cindy Lou Who, dies at 99
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You might not have known actress June Foray by name, but if you grew up watching classic cartoons from the 1960s, you almost certainly know her voice.
Foray, who died overnight at age 99 (just shy of her 100th birthday in September), was the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his Cold War enemy Natasha Fatale on “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.”
Jerry Beck, the president of the animation trade group ASIFA-Hollywood, of which Foray was a founding member, confirmed her passing.
“We are mourning the passing of animation’s best friend,” Beck noted. “She has touched so many lives: with her voice that of so many classic cartoon characters, her efforts to create ASIFA, to maintain the Academy’s Oscar for Best Animated Short and her leadership in crafting the category of Best Animated Feature. She was one of a kind. A trailblazer, a great talent and a truly wonderful person.”
Foray was also a part of one of the most beloved holiday specials of all time, playing Cindy Lou Who in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” for which she won a Grammy in 1968.
She also brought life to “The Bugs Bunny Show’s” Granny, “The Twilight Zone’s” creepy doll Talky Tina and “The Smurfs’ ” Jokey.
Foray is also credited with coming up with the idea for the Annies, the awards show for the animation industry, a tradition that began in 1972. She won four Annies herself, including two consecutive trophies for her work on “The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries” in 1997 and 1998.