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Voice actor Lennie "Pufnstuf" Weinrib, 71, dies

Discussion in 'In Memoriam...' started by eminovitz, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. eminovitz

    eminovitz Research Guru / Moderator Emeritus

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    Cartoon actor Lennie Weinrib, the voice of the title character in the 1969 live-action series H.R. Pufnstuf (which he also co-wrote), died Wednesday morning at his home in Chile, cartoon and comic-book historian Mark Evanier said on his "News From Me" Web site.

    Weinrib, 71, provided voices in many animated series. He was especially well-known for portraying Scooby's pal Scrappy-Doo in Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979) and The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour (1982). He was also in the voice cast of the first Scooby series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969), and The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972).

    Born in the Bronx on April 29, 1935, Weinrib was also a writer, producer and director. He grew to prominence working with Spike Jones and later in the Billy Barnes revues, Evanier said.

    Weinrib, who wrote all of the episodes for H.R. Pufnstuf, had been living in Chile for several years. He had moved there after marrying a Chilean woman and retiring from show business.

    At home in both live-action and animated comedy, Weinrib entered the world of cartoons as a member of the voice cast of 1962's The Jetsons.

    He voiced both title characters in DePatie-Freleng Enterprises' 1968 series Roland and Rattfink; they also appeared in The Pink Panther Laugh and the Half Hour and Half Show (1976). A creator and writer of the 1970 DFE series Doctor Dolittle, he also portrayed Sam Scurvy.

    Weinrib had the title voice role in the 1973 series Inch High, Private Eye.

    His other roles in animated series included Moonrock in The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971) and The Flintstones Comedy Hour (1972); Stanley in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (1972);Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (1973); Hi-Riser in Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch (1974); Commissioner Gordon, The Joker, The Penguin and Mr. Freeze in The New Adventures of Batman, Rattle, The King and Yukayuka in The C.B. Bears, and Knock-Knock Woodpecker in The Skatebirds (all 1977); Dipper in Space-Stars (1981); Hunk and Lotor in Voltron: Defender of the Universe (1984); Charles and Lenny in Kissyfur (1985); and Secret Squirrel in Wake, Rattle & Roll (1990) and Yo Yogi! (1991).

    Weinrib was in the voice casts of Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch (1971), Hong Kong Phooey (1974), The New Tom & Jerry Show (1975), Jabberjaw (1976), Dynomutt, Dog Wonder (1978), The Smurfs and The Kwicky Koala Show (both 1981), Rambo (1986) and Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs (1987).

    Weinrib voiced President John F. Kennedy in the hour-long 1970 NBC special Uncle Sam Magoo, UPA's last attempt to bring Mr. Magoo to primetime. He was in the 1970 Air Programs International special Tales Of Washington Irving and The Count in 1971's The Point (Murakami-Wolf Productions).

    In animated 1972 episodes of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, he was Cap'n Noah in Yogi's Ark Lark; Robin Hoodnik, Alan Airedale, Whirlin' Merlin, Lord Scurvy, Friar Pork and Little John in The Adventures of Robin Hoodnik; and Big Louie, Count Krumley and Mr. McGuffin in Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family.

    Other roles in animated TV specials were Timer in The Magical Mystery Trip Through Little Red's Head (1974) and Darzee the Tailorbird in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975).

    From 1977 to 1978, he starred in Magic Mongo, a segment of the live-action The Krofft Supershow.

    He had guest roles in numerous live-action TV series, both comedic (including three episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show) and dramatic. Other shows where he guested included Peter Gunn, Dennis the Menace, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Twilight Zone, 77 Sunset Strip, My Favorite Martian, The Munsters, Burke's Law, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Love, American Style, Adam-12, Happy Days, The Waltons and CHiPs.

    As "Fred Gibson" in the November 30, 1974 segment "The Firehouse Four," he was the only person to be rescued three times in one episode of Emergency.

    His voice work in theatrical films included Secretary Bird and King Leonidas in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and Prince Abadaba in Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales (1982).

    Weinrib also directed the live-action movie musicals Beach Ball (1965) and Wild, Wild Winter and Out of Sight (both 1966).

    "At some point in the eighties, Lennie got bored and unhappy with the industry," said Evanier. "A close, trusted associate cheated him out of more money than some of us will ever see. His mother became very ill and then died, and the stress got to him.

    "Lennie spent the last few decades in Chile, staying in touch with his old friends by phone and Internet. We either spoke or e-mailed almost every day. I'm going to miss that a lot."

    Frequently heard in voiceovers on radio and TV commercials, Weinrib was also a performer on the now-scarce 1967 comedy LP Have A Jewish Christmas...?

    Lennie Weinrib is survived by his daughter Linda, who has done voice work in the English versions of such animes as NieA_7 and Amazing Nurse Nanako.

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