Melvin Jerome “Mel” Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. during the “Golden Age of American animation” as the voice of 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, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons.
He later worked for Hanna-Barbera’s television cartoons, most notably as the voice of Barney Rubble in The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons.
According to his son Noel Blanc, of all the cartoon characters he voiced, the one that was the closest to his actual voice was Sylvester the Cat, only without the lisp.
Had a collection of over 300 antique watches (as of 1979) including a watch dating back to 1510 that only had one hand and chimed every hour.
Having earned the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice-acting industry. Originally, the sound of the Maxwell car on Jack Benny’s radio show was a pre-recorded sound effect on a phonograph record.
During a live broadcast, however, Blanc noticed that the record player wasn’t turned on for the crucial moment when the effect was supposed to play. He quickly grabbed the microphone and improvised the sounds himself, to the utter delight of the studio audience.
Benny made it part of the program from then on and gave Blanc much larger parts to play in the show.
Jack Benny once said of him, “There are only five real people in Hollywood. Everybody else is Mel Blanc.”
At the time of his death, it was estimated that 20 million people heard his voice every day.
Epitaph on headstone at his burial site in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood reads, “That’s All, Folks!”