Mel Blanc was born in San Francisco in 1908 and went on to become the famous voice of many popular and beloved animated cartoon characters, including Bugs Bunny
, Woody Woodpecker
, Daffy Duck
, Porky Pig
, Tweety Pie
, and many others.
He was known as The Man of 1,000 Voices although it's unlikely that he actually did 1000 different ones - however, what made Mel Blanc special was that he could also actually act. This was no mere impressionist. Blanc's voice as these cartoon characters became instantly recognizable to generations of children starting with the golden era of Merrie Melodies cartoons by Warner Brothers.
Among the many catchphrases he created were Bugs Bunny's "Eh, what's up, Doc", "I tawt I taw a putty tat", from the sarcastic canary Tweety, the Road Runner's "Beep, beep", Sylvester the Cat's "Thufferin' thuccotash", Woody Woodpecker's signature laughter and stuttering Porky Pig's "Th-th-th-th-that's all f-f-f-folks."
He began his career in show business as a musician and a radio performer in 1927, when he sang and performed on a Portland radio show called The Hoot Owls.
His first Warner Bros. character was a drunken bull in the 1937 Looney Tunes short Picador Porky. As legend has it, the actor playing Porky Pig in that short actually did stutter. A few months later, Mel took over the role in Porky's Duck Hunt, stuttering intact, and created Daffy Duck at the same time.
He went on to invent the voices of other well-known cartoon figures, such as Elmer Fudd, Speedy Gonzalez, Pepe Le Pew, the Tasmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn, Heathcliffe the cat and Yosemite Sam.
His last acting performance was in the hugely successful 1988's animation-live action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which he did the voices of Daffy, Tweety, Bugs and Sylvester. He died in 1989 at his home in Los Angeles.