Full Name:

Sterling Price Holloway

Occupation / Title:


Date of birth:


Date of death:



Cedartown, Georgia, USA


Born in Cedartown, Georgia to a grocer, Sterling Holloway’s acting career began in his teens, when he enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, where his classmates included Spencer Tracy and Pat O’Brien. After graduation, he began touring with theatre companies, notably the largely comedy-based troupe, Theatre Guild Junior Players, which he helped found. Holloway participated in several of the troupe’s satirical musical productions, called The Garrick Gaieties. 

In 1927, Holloway acted in his first silent film, Casey at the Bat (Brice), which received middling reviews. His gangly, unconventional physical appearance proved an obstacle for getting roles, with one director declaring him “too repulsive” to work as a film actor. Disillusioned by his lack of success, and the unpleasant personalities within the film industry, he soon returned to New York and The Garrick Gaieties. 

By the early 1930s, Holloway had grown tired of theatre and returned to Hollywood to try his luck as a film actor once again. His distinctive, soft wavering voice gave him an advantage as a actor in sound films that he had lacked during the silent era, and he was soon regularly cast in comic roles.

After a stint in the army during the Second World War, Holloway began a long, fruitful career as a voice actor at Disney, lending his talents to such classic films as Dumbo (Sharpsteen, 1941), The Three Caballeros (Ferguson, 1944), Bambi (Hand, 1945), and The Jungle Book (Reitherman, 1967). Perhaps most famously, he provided the first voice for Winnie the Pooh in the theatrical series beginning in 1966. 

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Holloway also performed on television, though by the mid-1960s he largely began to focus on advertising and children’s records. He passed away of cardiac arrest in 1992 at the age of 87. 


Collura, Joan. “A Way With Words.” Classic Images, 7 Jul. 2008, www.classicimages.com/people/article_d1e83b0a-0ae0-51f3-88c3-c9078ce4d535.html.

The Associated Press. “Sterling Holloway, Actor, 87, Is Dead; Voice of Pooh Bear.” The New York Times, 24 Nov. 1992, www.nytimes.com/1992/11/24/arts/sterling-holloway-actor-87-is-dead-voice-of-pooh-bear.html.

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