As someone who worked in radio and did a fair amount of character voices and celebrity impersonations, I’ve always admired voice actors. Folks like my old boss Gary Burbank, as well as Harry Shearer, Seth MacFarlane, Dan Castellaneta, Billy West, June Foray, Daws Butler and the immortal Mel Blanc.
But how about a little love for the person who was behind not one, not two, but three indelible childhood memories for every old geezer like me? The man was Thurl Ravenscroft. First of all, fantastic name. He didn’t really have to do anything… just saying “Thurl Ravenscroft” is fun.
You may not recognize his name, but I guarantee that you’ve heard his voice:
If you’ve ever been to the Haunted Mansion at a Disney park, you’ve heard Thurl’s dulcet tones as the lead singer on “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”
If you watched Saturday morning TV commercials at any time over a five-decade period beginning in the 50s, you heard Thurl extolling the virtues of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes as “Tony the Tiger”
Best of all, Thurl’s voice rings out every year at Christmas time, because he’s the voice of the classic song “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
And here’s the kicker. Thurl’s name was accidentally left out of the credits for the Grinch TV special (how can you forget a name like Thurl Ravenscroft?), so most folks think Boris Karloff sang the song.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. Let’s hear it for the Thurl!