June Foray

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June Foray

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June Foray is one of the most prolific voice actresses in history. She is particularly well known for lending her voice to Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale in Jay Ward’s Rocky and Bullwinkle series. She was also the voice of Tweety Bird’s protector Granny in the Warner Bros cartoons, and played Lucifer the Cat in Disney’s Cinderella. June started work as an actress in 1943 in Red Hot Riding Hood and most recently worked on the video game release Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal. She has worked in Feature Films, Television, and Radio and has appeared on Television. 

Foray is an advocate for the recognition of excellence in animation. She is known for crafting the Best Animated Feature category in the academy awards as well as for creating the Annie Awards, which are presented annually to celebrate excellence in animation, in 1972. 

Family and early life

June describes her parents as artistic people; her mother was a singer and pianist. They often took June and her siblings to the Bijou theater in Springfield. As a child she enjoyed reading the classics, which she memorized. Her first performance was at the age of 12 in a local radio broadcast. June moved to Los Angeles at 17 with her parents. She began her career as a radio actress on national broadcasts.

Career outline

June’s first job in Red Hot Riding Hood in (1943) was uncredited as was her work in Disney’s Peter Pan in (1953) and in Disney’s Cindarella (1950). Her work as Granny went uncredited, due to an arrangement to give all credit for voice characterizations to Mel Blanc. Even so June was already known for her abilities throughout the animation industry and she was often sought out. 

In 1957 she met with Jay Ward to talk about the Rocky and Bullwinkle show which made it’s debut two years later. June voiced virtually every female character on Rocky and Bullwinkle. For that matter she acted in almost every Jay Ward cartoon.  A younger audience will better remember June for her work as Ma Beagle in Ducktales, Queen Tabitha in Thumbalina, and for other work in Rugrats, Garfield and Friends, and Power Puff Girls. She was also the voice of Grandmother Fa in Disney’s Mulan.  It has been written that because of her diversity as an actress that June Foray is often thought of as the Female Mel Blanc, but that the truth is Mel Blanc is actually the Male June Foray.

In the 1960s, Foray became an advocate for the promotion and recognition of animation in the film industry. She helped craft the Academy Awards’ Best Animated Feature category, made efforts to maintain the Best Animated Short category, and was one of the founders of ASIFA-Hollywood; a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the art of animation. In 1972, within her leadership in ASIFA-Hollywood, Foray created the Annie Awards which are presented annually to recognize excellence in animation. 

Foray became the namesake of the June Foray Award which is presented to individuals who made “a significant benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.”

Personal style

Her work as Granny, Witchhazel and Grandma Fa seem to indicate that no one can do the Granny voice quite as well as June.  Her work on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show was usually recorded in just two hours (which included some goofing around) which goes to show just how quickly June could get into character.


Apart from her childhood teacher (Ms. Larson), and trips to the Bijou Theater, the only other influences that June remarks on are the books that she read. Her hunger for reading certainly seems to have been powerful fuel for her imagination.

Honors and awards

  • 1982 Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1995 June Foray Award (recipient and namesake)
  • 2012 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program


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