Sterling Holloway

Last updated
Sterling Holloway
STERLINGHolloway.jpg
Holloway, circa 1930s
Born
Sterling Price Holloway Jr.

(1905-01-14)January 14, 1905
DiedNovember 22, 1992(1992-11-22) (aged 87)
OccupationActor
Years active1926–1986
ChildrenRichard Holloway (adopted) [1]

Sterling Price Holloway Jr. (January 14, 1905 – November 22, 1992) was an American actor, who appeared in over 100 films and 40 television shows. [2] He did voice acting for The Walt Disney Company, including providing original voice-work for Mr. Stork in Dumbo , Kaa in The Jungle Book and the title character in Winnie the Pooh .

Contents

Early life

Born in Cedartown, Georgia, Holloway was named after his father, Sterling Price Holloway (1864–1930), who, in turn, was named after a prominent Confederate general, Sterling "Pap" Price. His mother was Rebecca DeHaven Boothby (1879–1963). He had a younger brother named Boothby (1909–1978). The family owned a grocery store in Cedartown, where his father served as mayor in 1912. After graduating from Georgia Military Academy in 1920 at the age of fifteen, he left Georgia for New York City, where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. [3] While there, he befriended actor Spencer Tracy, whom he considered one of his favorite working colleagues.

Career

Motion pictures and shorts

In his late teens, Holloway toured with the stock company of The Shepherd of the Hills , [4] performing in one-nighters across much of the American West before returning to New York where he accepted small walk-on parts from the Theatre Guild, and appeared in the Rodgers and Hart revue The Garrick Gaieties in the mid-1920s. A talented singer, he introduced "Manhattan" in 1925, and the following year sang "Mountain Greenery". [3]

He moved to Hollywood in 1926 to begin a film career that lasted almost 50 years. His bushy red hair and high pitched voice meant that he almost always appeared in comedies. His first film was The Battling Kangaroo (1926), a silent picture. Over the following decades, Holloway would appear with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Lon Chaney Jr., Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, and John Carradine. In 1942, during World War II, Holloway enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 37 and was assigned to the Special Services. He helped develop a show called "Hey Rookie", which ran for nine months and raised $350,000 for the Army Relief Fund. In 1945, Holloway played the role of a medic assigned to an infantry platoon in the critically acclaimed film A Walk in the Sun . During 1946 and 1947, he played the comic sidekick in five Gene Autry Westerns. [5]

With Walt Disney

Walt Disney considered Holloway for the voice of Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), but chose Pinto Colvig instead. Holloway's voice work in animated films began with Dumbo (1941), as the voice of Mr. Stork. Holloway was the voice of the adult Flower in Bambi (1942), the narrator of the Antarctic penguin sequence in The Three Caballeros (1944) and the narrator in the Peter and the Wolf sequence of Make Mine Music (1946).

He was the voice of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland (1951); the narrator in The Little House (1952), Susie the Little Blue Coupe (1952), and Lambert the Sheepish Lion (1952); Kaa the snake in The Jungle Book (1967); and Roquefort in The Aristocats (1970). He is perhaps best remembered as the voice of Winnie the Pooh in Disney's Winnie the Pooh featurettes through 1977. He was honored as a Disney Legend in 1991, the first person to receive the award in the voice category. His final role was Hobe Carpenter, a friendly moonshiner who helps Harley Thomas (David Carradine) in Thunder and Lightning (1977). A majority of his roles were inherited by voice actor Jim Cummings following his death.

Radio and recordings

Holloway acted on many radio programs, including The Railroad Hour , The United States Steel Hour , Suspense, Lux Radio Theater, and The Shadow. In the late 1940s, he could be heard in various roles on NBC's "Fibber McGee and Molly". His voice retained a touch of its Southern drawl and was instantly recognizable. Holloway was chosen to narrate many children's records, including Uncle Remus Stories (Decca), Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Disneyland Records), Walt Disney Presents Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories (Disneyland Records) and Peter And The Wolf (RCA Victor).

Television

Holloway with William Bendix on The Life of Riley, 1957 Life of riley 1957.JPG
Holloway with William Bendix on The Life of Riley, 1957
Holloway with Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show, 1962 Andy Griffith Sterling Holloway Andy Griffith Show 1962.JPG
Holloway with Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show, 1962

Holloway easily made the transition from radio to television. He appeared on the Adventures of Superman as "Uncle Oscar", an eccentric inventor, and played a recurring role on The Life of Riley . He guest-starred on Fred Waring's CBS television program in the 1950s and appeared on Circus Boy as a hot air balloonist. Some other series on which he performed include Five Fingers (episode "The Temple of the Swinging Doll"), The Untouchables , The Real McCoys ("The Jinx"), Hazel , Pete and Gladys , The Twilight Zone ("What's in the Box"), The Brothers Brannagan , Gilligan's Island , The Andy Griffith Show , The Donald O'Connor Show , Peter Gunn , F Troop , and Moonlighting . During the 1970s, Holloway did commercial voice-overs for Purina Puppy Chow dog food and sang their familiar jingle, "Puppy Chow/For a full year/Till he's full-grown!". He also provided the voice for Woodsy Owl in several 1970s and 1980s United States Forest Service commercials. In 1982 he auditioned for the well-known comic book character Garfield but lost to Lorenzo Music. In 1984, he provided voice-over work for a commercial for Libby's baked beans. [6]

Personal life and death

Holloway was a lifelong Democrat who supported the campaign of Adlai Stevenson during the 1956 United States presidential election. [7] Holloway adhered to Methodism. [8]

Throughout his life, Holloway remained a confirmed bachelor. He once said this was because he felt lacking in nothing and did not wish to disturb his pattern of life. He did adopt a son, Richard Holloway. [5]

Holloway died from cardiac arrest on November 22, 1992, in a Los Angeles hospital. His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean. [9]

Fellow Winnie the Pooh cast member Hal Smith (who originated the character Owl) took over the role of Winnie the Pooh for the 1981 short Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons . Holloway was given the chance to return to the role for The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh but, at 83 years old, could no longer perform the voice as he used to; [10] Jim Cummings took over the role as well as most of Holloway's other voice roles, including Kaa in Jungle Cubs and The Jungle Book 2 .

Filmography

Feature films

Short subjects

  • The Battling Kangaroo (1926) as Napoleon French
  • The Girl from Everywhere (1927) as Assistant Director
  • The Girl from Nowhere (1928) as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • One Track Minds (1933) as Train Snack Salesman
  • Not the Marrying Kind (1933)
  • Meeting Mazie (1933)
  • Born April First (1934)
  • Pleasing Grandpa (1934)
  • Picnic Perils (1934)
  • Sterling's Rival Romeo (1934) as Sterling
  • Father Knows Best (1935) as Bashful Boy
  • My Girl Sally (1935)
  • Bring 'Em Back A Lie (1935)
  • Double Crossed (1935)
  • His Last Fling (1935)
  • The Pelican & The Snipe (1944) as Narrator (voice, uncredited)
  • The Cold-Blooded Penguin (1944) as Narrator (voice)
  • Donald's Crime (1945) as Donald's Conscience (voice)
  • Unusual Occupations L-5-2 (1945) as Himself
  • Peter & The Wolf (1946) as Narrator (voice)
  • Moron Than Off (1946) as Elmer Fossdinkle
  • Mr. Wright Goes Wrong (1946)
  • Scooper Dooper (1947) as Himself
  • Hectic Honeymoon (1947) as Eddie Jones
  • Mickey and the Beanstalk (1947) as Narrator (voice, 1955 TV version)
  • Speaking of Animals No. Y7-1: Dog Crazy (1947) as Dog Owner
  • Man or Mouse (1948) as Elmer Dinkle
  • Flat Feat (1948) as Officer Sterling Smith / Smith's Father
  • Lambert the Sheepish Lion (1952) as Narrator / Mr. Stork (voice)
  • Susie the Little Blue Coupe (1952) as Narrator (voice)
  • The Little House (1952) as Narrator
  • Ben and Me (1953) as Amos Mouse (voice)
  • Goliath II (1960) as Narrator (voice)
  • Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) as Winnie the Pooh (voice)
  • Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) as Winnie the Pooh (voice)
  • Man, Monsters & Mysteries (1974) as Nessie (voice)
  • Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974) as Winnie the Pooh (voice)

Television

Discography

Related Research Articles

Sebastian Cabot (actor)

Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot was an English film and television actor, best remembered as the gentleman's gentleman, Giles French, opposite Brian Keith's character, William "Uncle Bill" Davis, in the CBS-TV sitcom Family Affair (1966–1971). He was also known for playing the Wazir in the film Kismet (1955) and Dr. Carl Hyatt in the CBS-TV series Checkmate (1960–1962).

Charles Lane (actor)

Charles Lane was an American character actor and centenarian whose career spanned 72 years. Lane gave his last performance at the age of 101 as a narrator in 2006. Lane appeared in many Frank Capra films, including Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take It With You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Riding High (1950). He was a favored supporting actor of Lucille Ball, who often used him as a no-nonsense authority figure and comedic foe of her scatterbrained TV character on her TV series I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour and The Lucy Show. His first film of more than 250 was as a hotel clerk in Smart Money (1931) starring Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney.

Jim Cummings American voice actor and singer

James Jonah Cummings is an American voice actor and singer, who has appeared in almost 400 roles, including Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and the Tasmanian Devil.

<i>The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh</i> 1977 American animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney Productions

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a 1977 American animated musical anthology film produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. It is the 22nd Disney animated feature film and was first released on a double bill with The Littlest Horse Thieves on March 11, 1977.

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.

Billy Bletcher American actor and voice actor

William Bletcher was an American actor and voice actor. He is mostly well known for his role as the voice of Pete in the Mickey Mouse short films from 1932 to 1954.

John Fiedler

John Donald Fiedler was an American character actor and voice actor. His career lasted more than 55 years in stage, film, television and radio. Among his best-known roles are the nervous Juror #2 in 12 Angry Men (1957); the benign-seeming gentleman who tries to prevent the Younger family from moving into a whites-only neighbourhood in A Raisin in the Sun (1961); the voice of Piglet in Disney's Winnie the Pooh productions; Vinnie, one of Oscar's poker cronies in the film The Odd Couple (1968), and Mr. Emil Peterson, the hen-pecked milquetoast husband on The Bob Newhart Show.

<i>Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree</i> 1966 film directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is a 1966 animated featurette based on the first two chapters of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. The film was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, produced by Walt Disney Productions, and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution on February 4, 1966 as a double feature with The Ugly Dachshund. It was the last short film produced by Walt Disney, who died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966, ten months after its release. Its songs were written by the Sherman Brothers and the score was composed and conducted by Buddy Baker.

<i>Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day</i> 1968 short film directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is a 1968 animated featurette based on the third, fifth, ninth, and tenth chapters of Winnie-the-Pooh and the second, eighth, and ninth chapters from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. The featurette was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company on December 20, 1968 as a double feature with the live-action comedy feature The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit. This was the second of the studio's Winnie the Pooh theatrical feaurettes. It was later added as a segment to the 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The music was written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. It was notable for being the last animated short produced by Walt Disney, who died of lung cancer in December 1966, two years before its release.

Walt Disney Cartoon Classics was a series of cartoon compilations from Disney. It was one of their first attempts to put cartoons on home video, after Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections.

John Ryan Kinney was an American animator, director and producer of animated shorts. Kinney is the older brother of fellow Disney animator Dick Kinney.

Winnie the Pooh (Disney character)

Winnie the Pooh, the fictional teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne, is one of the most popular characters adapted for film and television by The Walt Disney Company. Disney first received certain licensing rights to the Winnie the Pooh stories, characters, and trademarks from Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and the estate of A. A. Milne in 1961. Disney has since developed a Winnie the Pooh media franchise, starting with the 1966 theatrical featurette Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. The character was included in TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002 and also has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Walt Disney Classics

Walt Disney Classics was a brand name used by Walt Disney Home Video on their home video VHS releases of Disney animated features from 1937 to 1992. The last title in the Classics line was The Fox and the Hound. With the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, all of the existing titles in the Classics line were replaced with the Masterpiece Collection line, and the Classics line was cancelled in the United States and Canada.

George Chandler

George Chandler was an American actor who starred in over 140 feature films, usually in smaller supporting roles, and he is perhaps best known for playing the character of Uncle Petrie Martin on the television series Lassie.

Ralph Wright

Ralph Waldo Wright was a Disney animator and story/storyboard writer who provided the gloomy, sullen voice of Eeyore from the popular Winnie the Pooh franchise.

"A Disney Halloween" is a 90-minute Halloween-themed television special which originally aired as part of The Wonderful World of Disney on October 24, 1981.

Clito "Clyde" Geronimi, known as Gerry, was an Italian American animation director. He is best known for his work at Walt Disney Productions.

James Patton "Jack" King was an American animator and short film director best known for his work at Walt Disney Productions.

The Magical Music of Walt Disney is a 4-volume compilation album of Disney music and songs up through 1978, to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Mickey Mouse. However, it did not put The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Alice in Wonderland, The Aristocats, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks on the records.

References

  1. Folkart, Burt A. (November 24, 1992). "Sterling Holloway, Voice of Disney Characters, Dies". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  2. "Sterling Holloway". AllMovie . Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Collura, Joe (July 7, 2008). "Sterling Holloway: A Way with Words". Classic Images. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  4. "The Shepherd of the Hills". Cladirite Radio. Cladrite Radio. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  5. 1 2 Rothel.
  6. Libbys Baked Beans 1984. YouTube. January 11, 2014.
  7. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1955 , page 33, Ideal Publishers
  8. Morning News, January 10, 1948, Who Was Who in America, Vol. 2
  9. "Sterling Holloway, Actor, 87, Is Dead – Voice of Pooh Bear". The New York Times . Associated Press. November 24, 1992. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  10. "Looking ahead at Disney's future". Channels. Act III Publishing. August 30, 1988.
  11. Kinzie, Rich (April 10, 2015). "Stan Freberg, Master of Satire: 1926-2015". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  12. "Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland"". Cartoon Research; Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  13. 1 2 "Taking a Spin with Susie, the Little Blue Coupe". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Sterling Holloway at Discogs". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  15. "Walt Disney's "The Country Cousin" on Records". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  16. "Disney s "Goliath II" (and Kevin Corcoran) on Records". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  17. "Disney's "Grasshopper and the Ants" on Records". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  18. "Walt Disney's "Three Little Pigs" on Records". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 Hollis, Tim; Greg Ehrbar (2006). Mouse Tracks: The Story of Disneyland Records. University Press of Mississippi. p. 97. ISBN   978-1617034336 . Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  20. "Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" on Records". Retrieved 2018-02-21.

Sources