January 03, 2011

Voice Actor - Phil Harris

Starting off this new weekly Flooby Nooby series of articles is some information on a range of popular to lesser-known voice actors. Hopefully this might bring just a bit more awareness to the art of the voice-over artist.

I'll begin this week with the legendary Phil Harris.
June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, jazz musician, actor and comedian. Though successful as an orchestra leader, Harris is remembered today for his recordings as a vocalist, his voice work in animation and as a pioneer in radio sitcoms, first with Jack Benny, and then in a series in which he co-starred with his second wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years.

He worked as a vocalist and voice actor for animated films, lending his distinctive voice to the Disney animated features The Jungle Book (1967) as Baloo, The Aristocats (1970) as Thomas O'Malley, and Robin Hood (1973) as Little John.

The Jungle Book was his greatest success in the years following the end of his radio career. As Baloo the Bear, he sings one of the film's showstoppers, "The Bare Necessities," a performance that introduced Harris to a new generation of young fans who had no awareness of his radio fame. Harris also joins Louis Prima in "I Wanna Be Like You," delivering a memorable scat singing performance.

The Aristocats features Harris as alley cat Abraham de Lacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley, who joins in the film's showstopper, "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat," with Scatman Crothers. In Robin Hood, Harris's Little John sings the popular anti-Prince John tune "The Phony King of England."

Here's his credit list on Voice Chasers.

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