Fans are in mourning today after June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame in the 1960s, passed away. She was 99 years-old.
Fox News reported that her death was confirmed on Facebook by her close friend Dave Nimitz, who wrote, “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”
Foray voiced hundreds of characters during her career, including Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Known as the first lady of voice acting, Foray was one of the original members of animation organization ASIFA-Hollywood and founder of the annual Annie Awards. In addition, she was instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category.
“We are all saddened by the news of June’s passing,” said ASIFA-Hollywood executive director Frank Gladstone, adding that she would have celebrated her 100th birthday in September. “Although it didn’t come as a shock, it has really taken us back a bit.”
“It was part of her legacy and a testament to her enduring love for animation and the animation industry,” he continued.
“On behalf of ASIFA-Hollywood, of which June was a founder, we are mourning the passing of animation’s best friend,” said ASIFA president Jerry Beck. “She has touched so many lives: with her voice that of so many classic cartoon character, her efforts to create ASIFA, to maintain the Academy’s Oscar for Best Animated Short and her leadership in crafting the category of Best Animated Feature. She was one of a kind. A trailblazer, a great talent and a truly wonderful person. We will never forget her.”
Foray kept working well into her late 90s, reprising her role as Rocky in director Gary Trousdale’s short “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” released by DreamWorks Animation in 2014.
“I’m still going,” Foray said in 2013. “It keeps you thinking young. My body is old, but I think the same as I did when I was 20 years old.”