Comedian, composer, singer, actor, author, radio personality, advertising executive and voice actor Stan Freberg passed away yesterday at the age of 88. I doubt most anyone under the age of 50 could recognize the name, yet you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard Stan's voice in at least something: "Lady and the Tramp" "Alice in Wonderland" "Stewart Little" "Ren and Stimpy" "Freakzoid" and over 90 other credits. Stan has spent more than 70 years working in show business.
He was born and raised in Pasadena, and as soon as he graduated high school, he hopped on a bus and asked the driver to let him off "in Hollywood." When he got off the bus, he saw a sign that said "Talent Agency" so he walked in the front door, the agents sent him to an audition at Warner Bros and he was hired on the spot.
He literally walked in the front door and claimed his destiny.
In 1957, Stan founded his advertising company, "Freberg, Ltd. (but not very.)" The company logo was designed by Saul Bass and included the motto "Ars gratia pecuniae" (which, in Latin means "art for money's sake.") That's the kind of guy Stan was.
I was introduced to Stan's talent by watching one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons when I was a kid. It's called "Rabbit's Kin" and had Freberg voicing the character of "Pete Puma" - a dopey, but true-to-self character that had this bizzare laugh that, if you tried to duplicate, you were guaranteed to choke and cough afterwards. To this day when someone asks me how much sugar I like in my tea, Freberg's voice as Pete Puma comes bellowing out, "OH.THREE OR FOURRR..."
Stan won Emmies, Grammies and over two dozen Clios. He's been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Animation Hall of Fame. He was a voice acting legend, a comedy genius and a pioneer in advertising. Thank you, Stan. Thank you for bringing smiles to so many people for so many years.
About Rob Marley -
A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the Hill Country of Austin Texas.