November 7, 1903
New York City, U.S.
|Died||March 17, 1992 88) (aged|
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)|
|Known for||Woody Woodpecker|
(m. 1919;div. 1940)
Grace Lantz ( née Boyle, November 7, 1903 – March 17, 1992), also known by her stage name Grace Stafford, was an American actress and the wife of animation producer Walter Lantz. Stafford is best known for providing the voice of Woody Woodpecker, a creation of Lantz's, from 1950 to 1992.
Stafford appeared in feature live-action films from 1935's Dr. Socrates to 1975's Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze . Some of her more notable roles were in the films Anthony Adverse and Blossoms in the Dust .
Around the time the Woody Woodpecker short Drooler's Delight was in production, Mel Blanc, who had originally supplied Woody's voice and laugh, filed a lawsuit against producer Walter Lantz, claiming that Lantz had used his voice in later cartoons without permission. The judge, however, ruled for Lantz, saying that Blanc had failed to copyright his voice or his contributions. Though Lantz won the case, he paid Blanc in an out-of-court settlement when Blanc filed an appeal. Wanting to avoid any future retaliation from voice artists wanting to sue him, Lantz opted to find a new voice actor to replace Ben Hardaway as Woody's talking voice, as well as a definitive version of the laugh for his star woodpecker.
In 1950, Lantz held anonymous auditions. Stafford offered to do Woody's voice, but Lantz turned her down because Woody was a male character. Not discouraged in the least, Grace made her own anonymous audition tape and submitted it to Walter Lantz Productions. Not knowing who was behind the voice he heard, Lantz picked Grace's voice for Woody Woodpecker. Stafford provided Woody's voice from 1950 to 1992. At first, she asked not to be credited in the role, as she believed that audiences both young and old would be "disillusioned" if they knew Woody was voiced by a woman.But she soon came to enjoy being known as Woody's voice and, starting with 1958's Misguided Missile , finally allowed her name to be credited on screen.
Stafford also appeared on an episode of What's My Line? on November 10, 1963.
Gracie Lantz died of spinal cancer on March 17, 1992, at age 88.
Mel Blanc was an American voice actor, comedian, and radio personality. After beginning his over-60-year career performing in radio, he became known for his work in animation as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and most of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons during the golden age of American animation.
Walter Lantz Productions was an American animation studio. It was in operation from 1928 to 1972, and was the principal supplier of animation for Universal Studios, now part of the media conglomerate NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast. Nowadays the company exists in name only as a subsidiary of Universal Animation Studios, handling the rights to the studio's characters and films.
Woody Woodpecker is a cartoon anthropomorphic woodpecker that has appeared in theatrical short films produced by the Walter Lantz Studio and distributed by Universal Studios between 1940 and 1972.
Walter Benjamin Lantz was an American cartoonist, animator, film producer, director and actor best known for founding Walter Lantz Productions and creating Woody Woodpecker.
Hans Georg Conried Jr. was an American actor, comedian and voice actor. Conried is known for providing the voices of Walt Disney's George Darling and Captain Hook in Peter Pan (1953), Snidely Whiplash in Jay Ward's Dudley Do-Right cartoons, Professor Waldo P. Wigglesworth in Ward's Hoppity Hooper cartoons, and Professor Kropotkin on the radio and film versions of My Friend Irma. He also appeared as Uncle Tonoose on Danny Thomas' sitcom Make Room for Daddy, and twice on I Love Lucy.
Knock Knock is a 1940 animated short subject, part of the Andy Panda series, produced by Walter Lantz. The cartoon is noted for being the first appearance of Woody Woodpecker, and was released by Universal Pictures on November 25, 1940.
Walter Tetley was an American actor specializing in child impersonation during radio's classic era, with regular roles as Leroy Forrester on The Great Gildersleeve and Julius Abbruzzio on The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, as well as continuing as a voice-over artist in animated cartoons, commercials, and spoken-word record albums. He is perhaps best known as the voice of Sherman in the Jay Ward-Bill Scott Mr. Peabody TV cartoons.
Richard James Lundy was an American animator and film director who worked at several animation studios including Walt Disney Animation Studios, MGM, and Hanna-Barbera. Lundy was a pioneer of personality animation and is best remembered as one of the creators of Donald Duck. Throughout his career he worked as a primary animator on at least 60 films, both short and feature-length, and directed 51 shorts.
Andy Panda is a cartoon character who starred in his own series of animated cartoon short subjects produced by Walter Lantz. These "cartunes" were released by Universal Pictures from 1939 to 1947, and United Artists from 1948 to 1949. The title character is an anthropomorphic cartoon character, a cute panda. Andy became the second star of the Walter Lantz cartoons after Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. He achieved considerable popularity until being eventually supplanted by Woody Woodpecker.
Edith Marie Blossom MacDonald, also known as Blossom Rock, was an American actress of vaudeville, stage, film and television. During her career she was also billed as Marie Blake or Blossom MacDonald. Her younger sister was screen actress and singer Jeanette MacDonald. Rock is probably best known for her role as "Grandmama" on the 1960s horror sitcom The Addams Family.
Pantry Panic is the third animated cartoon short in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on November 24, 1941, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures.
Hot Rod Huckster is the 57th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on July 5, 1954, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal-International.
The Loan Stranger is the sixth Woody Woodpecker animated cartoon short subject, released theatrically on October 19, 1942. The film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. The title is a pun on The Lone Ranger.
Ace in the Hole is the fifth animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures, the short was released theatrically on June 22, 1942. Like many other animation and film studios in the 1940s, Walter Lantz Productions through its iconic character, Woody Woodpecker, became part of the war effort.
The Screwdriver is the second animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on August 11, 1941, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures.
Wild and Woody! is the 30th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. It is a Western film. Released theatrically on December 31, 1948, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by United Artists.
Drooler's Delight is the 32nd animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on March 25, 1949, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by United Artists.
Puny Express is an American cartoon, and the 33rd animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on January 22, 1951, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal-International.
Mary Field was an American film actress who primarily appeared in supporting roles.
Bye, Bye, Blackboard is the 196th and final animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on September 1, 1972, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal. Walter Lantz then closed down his cartoon studio for the last time.
| Voice of Woody Woodpecker |