Clarence "Ducky" Nash was best known as the man who provided the voice for Donald Duck
from the beginning (1934, in the animated
short "The Wise Little Hen
") until his death in 1985 (leukemia
) at the age of 80. He began doing the vaudeville
circuit in Chicago
where he sang and played mandolin
. Nash also developed a repertoire
He got a job in California at a milk company where he was the "Adohr Milk Company Whistling Birdman" and would go to schools praising the virtues of milk. One day he dropped off his business card at Walt Disney's studio. In his interview, he recited "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in the voice that would make him famous (one story has it that he was trying to do a baby goat) and when Disney heard it, he immediately knew he'd found the voice for his duck. Another story has Disney hearing Nash on a local radio show.
Regardless, in 1933 Nash signed his contract with Disney and essentially became Donald Duck. Nash did other voices over the years for Disney cartoons, including Donald's nephews (Huey, Dewey, and Louie), Jiminy Cricket (after the original "voice" died), a bullfrog in "Bambi," dogs in "101 Dalmatians," birds in the Tiki Room and Disneyland, and Mickey Mouse on a couple occasions.
Since Nash's death, Tony Anselmo has done the voice of Donald Duck.