June Foray, a.k.a. Rocket J. Squirrel, at 99

posted in: deaths, farewells, TV 0

June Foray, from IMDB

June Foray, one of the world’s most versatile voice actors, and the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel as well as the scheming Natasha, died last week at the age of 99.

By coincidence, I just recently started watching some of the old Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes, when my friend Craig started reducing the size of his breathtaking video collection. (These are on VHS, and Craig and I may be among the few in town who still possess working VCRs. He and his wife Barbara watched them one more time, and then passed them on to me.) The cleverness and wit behind this venerable series is hardly at all dated. (When I was a kid, I doubt I would have gotten many of the references, such as the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam, which is a model boat that Bullwinkle has somehow gotten hold of.)

Some years ago, Craig and I went to hear June Foray give a talk, I think at M.I.T. She was smart and funny, and actually had a pretty bawdy sense of humor, which of course had to stay suppressed while she was working in kids’ programming.

The world is a little less funny and creative with her gone. Here’s a lot more about her in the Boston Globe and the New York Times.

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