The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) will honor the great June Foray, the undisputed First Lady of Voice Acting, with the lifetime Governors Award at this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards show on September 15th.
The legendary actress, who has given voice to such classic characters as Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky and Bullwinkle), Cindy Lou (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), Jokey Smurf (The Smurfs), Granny (Sylvester and Tweety), among many others, is being honored with the prestigious award due to her lifetime contributions to the industry as a whole.
Bruce Rosenblum, the Chairman and CEO of the ATAS spoke of Ms. Foray in the highest of regards for a long successful career as a pioneer in voice-over work and acting.
“Each year the Board of Governors recognizes a person or organization whose contributions to our industry will forever live on,” Rosenblum said. “June Foray absolutely embodies everything that this honor represents. A legend and a pioneer, June is not only in a class of her own, but she literally created that class. There is simply no one more deserving of this honor.”
June Foray began her career in the 1940s doing radio work and later moved on to feature animated films, voicing the cat in Disney’s Cinderella, and a mermaid in Peter Pan. Her biggest break came when she joined animator Jay Ward, and partnered with actor Bill Scott to create The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Ms. Foray voiced every female on the show, including Dudley Do-Right’s damsel in distress, Nell Fenwick, and Bullwinkle nemesis, Natasha Fatale, among others.
Ms. Foray has worked with some of the greatest voice actors of all time, and has always been held in the highest regards for her talent and professionalism. The list of animators that employed Ms. Foray is a who’s who of animation icons, including Walt Disney, Walter Lantz, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and many, many more. The venerable Chuck Jones, the legendary Warner Bros. Animator, once said of Ms. Foray, “June is not the female Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc is the male June Foray.”
Her voice is easily recognizable and Ms. Foray has been continually honored in the last 30 years by those that she has influenced in her long and storied career. She has voiced characters on Matt Groening’s The Simpsons and Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy, and recently voiced the character of Magica DeSpell in the recently released DuckTales: Remastered video game.
Ms. Foray is returning to arguably her most famous creation in Rocket J. Squirrel for a new animated Rocky and Bullwinkle short, directed by Gary Trousdale (co-director of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast). The new short will be attached to DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which hits theaters in March 2014.
The Governors Award for Lifetime Achievement follows a 2012 Emmy that Ms. Foray won for her work on The Garfield Show. It was her first nomination. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA, on September 15th.