Voices Of Tony The Tiger And Fred Flintstone Fall Silent

This past week was not kind to some of the classic voices of the airwaves.

Thurl Ravenscroft, who provided the rumbling “They’re Grrrrreeeat!” for Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger ads and voiced a host of Disney characters, has died. He was 91.

Ravenscroft died Sunday of prostate cancer, said Diane Challis Davy, director of Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters.

For more than 50 years, Ravenscroft was the affable voice behind Tony the Tiger, TV’s popular cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

“I’m the only man in the world that has made a career with one word: Grrrrreeeat!” Ravenscroft told the Orange County Register in 1996. “When Kellogg’s brought up the idea of the tiger, they sent me a caricature of Tony to see if I could create something for them. After messing around for some time I came up with the `Grrrrreeeat!’ roar, and that’s how it’s been since then.”

Growing up in a family that was loyal to Esso gasoline (“Put a Tiger in your tank“), and then bonding with the Princeton tiger, I always had a soft spot for Tony the Tiger and his trademark calling card.

Equally nostalgic was the loss of Henry Corden, the voice of cartoon caveman Fred Flintstone’s “Yabba-dabba-doo!” for more than two decades. He was 85.

He took over as the lovable loudmouth Fred Flintstone when original voice Alan Reed died in 1977. Reed had been doing Flintstone since the character debuted in 1960.



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