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Bletcher, Billy

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on January 30, 2004

(1894-1979)

    While Bletcher appeared in a small number of live-action movies, he made a significant mark in animated cartoons as a voice actor -- Maltin refers to him as “ubiquitous”.

    The best known Bletcher role at Warner Brothers was as Papa Bear, opposite Stan Freburg’s Junyer Bear and Bea Benaderet’s Mama Bear in the Three Bears series directed by Charles M. Jones.

    Bletcher is credited in Beck and Friedwald with voices in the following cartoons:

  • Little Dutch Plate (Freleng, 1935) as the villainous vinegar bottle
  • Boom Boom (King, 1936) as enemy soldiers
  • Alpine Antics (King, 1936) as a bully fighting Beans the Cat
  • Little Beau Porky (Tash [Frank Tashlin], 1936) as a Foreign Legion commandant
  • Porky of the Northwoods (Tashlin, 1936) as off-screen trapper villain
  • Pigs is Pigs (Freleng, 1937) as the Mad Scientist
  • The Lyin’ Mouse (Freleng, 1937) as the lion
  • Porky’s Tire Trouble (Clampett, 1939) as Porky’s walrus boss

    Schneider credits Bletcher as one of the voices of Peg Leg Pete at Disney. He also worked for the Lantz studio, as for Boy Meets Dog, and the Iwerks studio, as for Little Boy Blue.

    Live-action credits for Bletcher include:

  • Deadline at Dawn (1946) as aWaiter
  • Chatterbox (1943) as “Black Jake”
  • Destry Rides Again (1939) as a Pianist
  • Babes in Toyland (1934) also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers, playing the chief of police

    The obituary for Bletcher in Variety noted that he was also the voice of the Lone Ranger on radio (one of many, if true), and appeared in a number of Christie Comedies and Laurel and Hardy films.

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• The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is © (copyright) 1996 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.

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