Bill Scott, cartoon writer, voiceover actor, Bullwinkle
William John Scott III was born August 2, 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Early on, Bill was determined to be a writer, and in 1944 he was hired to work for Warner Brothers. He became a story writer for Merrie Melodies and wrote a number of memorable scripts, including "Two Gophers From Texas" which introduced the foppish gopher twins Mac and Tosh.
In 1950, Bill moved on to work for United Pictures of America, a smaller animation studio that focused more on outsourcing their studio for projects based on children's literature and more commercial endeavors. Here Scott flourished, working alongside a young Ted Geisel ang others to create a number of famous characters, including Gerald McBoing Boing and Mister Magoo.
In 1953, Bill went to work writing anti-Communist propaganda for John Sutherland Productions. But the work didn't interest him, and he became a freelance writer for a number of television shows, including "The Honeymooners." When he was offered a spot as co-producer and head writer for Jay Ward's production studio in 1957, he jumped at the chance, and it paid off by making Bill one of the most memorable voices in cartoon history.
While working with Jay Ward on the script for his new show starring a squirrel named Rocky and a moose named Bullwinkle, Bill would read the scripts back to Jay (a functional illiterate), giving voice to each of the characters. When production finally got underway and the time came to cast each of the characters, Jay reeled off an actor for each role - except for Bullwinkle. Bill asked who was going to play that part, to which Jay replied, "Well, you enjoyed reading him so much, I just figured you would!" Thus the start of Bill's more notable career as a voice actor.
Bill played the lovably dumb moose Bullwinkle for over 25 years, beginning with "Rocky and His Friends" in 1959 and continuing through a number of TV specials, commercials, and series over the years. Bill also took on the role of that dashing Royal Mountie Dudley Do-Right in 1961, as well as the brainy time-traveling dog Mr. Peabody (who was named after Bill's own dog.) In 1967 he began performing the voices of both George of the Jungle and his series counterpart Super Chicken.
In 1985, Bill was added to the cast of two new Disney cartoons, "The Gummi Bears" and "The Wuzzles." Unfortunately, he had contracted incurable prostate cancer, and only completed one season of each before succumbing to a heart attack on November 20 of that year. He was 65.
On a personal note, Bill and I are somewhat kindred spirits in that we both always cry whenever Dumbo's mother reaches out from her cage and cradles him in her trunk.