Full Name:

Bea Benederet

Occupation / Title:


Date of birth:


Date of death:



New York City, United States


Born in New York City to a Turkish-Sephardic tobacconist and an Irish-American woman, Bea Benaderet made a name for herself in the first half of the twentieth century displaying her vocal and comedic talents in animation, radio, television, and film. As a young child, her family relocated to San Francisco, where, at the age of twelve, she was hired as a junior vocalist for the KGO radio station. First performing onstage in The Prince of Pilsen at sixteen, she went on to study at the Reginald Travis School for Acting. Upon graduation, she performed with several local theatre companies before moving once again into radio in the mid-1920s and 1930s. Notable personalities she worked with on radio included Orson Welles, Jack Benny, and Lucille Ball. 

In the 1940s, she was hired by Warner Bros. to provide voices for their Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. As one of the few actresses on the cast, she voiced dozens of female characters, including Granny in the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons, and Marc Antony’s mistress in the Marc Antony and Pussyfoot cartoons. During this time she also made her screen debut as a clerk in Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946). 

As television grew more prevalent on the American cultural landscape, Bea began to take on roles in the new medium, landing starring roles on Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies. Reportedly she was offered the role of Ethel Mertz, Lucille Ball’s landlord and best friend in I Love Lucy, but turned it down because she played a similar character on The Burns and Allen Show. The role of course ended up going to Vivian Vance. She once again lent her voice to cartoons in the 1960s, voicing Betty Rubble on The Flintstones. In the late 1960s she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and, in 1968, she passed away at the age of 62.




“Bea Benaderet.” Internet Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0070153. Accessed 31 May, 2018.

“Betty Rubble Meets Orson Welles.” Yowp, 9 Sept. 2010, https://yowpyowp.blogspot.com/2010/09/betty-rubble-meets-orson-welles.html. 

“Overview for Bea Benaderet.” Turner Classic Movies, http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/13475%7C18383/Bea-Benaderet. Accessed 31 May, 2018. 

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