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Clarence Charles "Ducky" Nash (December 7, 1904–February 20, 1985) was an Americanmarker voice actor, best known for providing the voice of Donald Duck for Walt Disney Studios. He was born in the rural community of Watongamarker, Oklahomamarker, and a street in that town is named in his honor.

Beginning his career

Nash made a name for himself in the late 1920s as an impressionist for KHJ, a Los Angelesmarker radio station, on their show, The Merrymakers. He later was employed by the Adohr Milk Company for publicity purposes. Dubbed "Whistling Clarence, the Adohr Bird Man", Nash rode the streets with a team of miniature horses and gave treats to the children. In 1932, Nash happened by the Disney Studio with his team of horses, and decided to leave a copy of his Adohr publicity sheet with the receptionist. As it turns out, his name was recognized from a reprise appearance on The Merrymakers a few days previous, and Walt Disney himself had been impressed by Nash's vocal skills. He was asked to make an informal audition.

Donald Duck

went through several of his voices, and Walt Disney happened by when Nash gave his impersonation of a family of ducks. Disney declared Nash perfect for the role of a talking duck in their upcoming animated short, The Wise Little Hen. The duck, of course, was Donald Duck, who Nash went on to voice for over 50 years, in over 120 shorts and films. The last film to feature Nash's famous voice was Mickey's Christmas Carol, released in 1983 although he continued to provide Donald's voice for commercials, promos and other miscellaneous material until his death.

Donald Duck went on to become one of the most famous cartoon characters in the world, and a great part of this was due to Nash's distinctive voice. It may well be one of the most recognizable character voices in history. The voice is distinctive both for its ducklike quality and the fact that it is often very difficult for anybody to understand, especially when Donald flew into a rage (which happened fairly often). To keep Donald's voice consistent throughout the world, Nash voiced Donald's voice in all foreign languages the Disney shorts were translated to (with the aid of the phonetic alphabet), meaning Donald retained his same level of incoherency all across the globe. Mad magazine, in its 1950s comic-strip style satire of Disney characters, featured a "translation" of "Darnold" Duck's "quacky, incomprehensible" voice.

Other characters

In addition to Donald's voice, Nash also voiced Daisy Duck (in her earliest appearances, when she was little more than a female version of Donald), as well as Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. He provided the voice for PJ in the cartoon 'Bellboy Donald'. Nash also provided the meows of Figaro the kitten in a handful of shorts.

Several Tom & Jerry cartoons directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera featured a third main character, a duckling named Little Quacker. Red Coffee provided Little Quacker's voice, though the voice is sometimes attributed mistakenly to Nash because it sounds similar to Donald Duck's.

He also voiced for a bullfrog in Bambi.

Later years

Macho Duck

When Disney shut down their shorts department in 1962, Nash continued to voice Donald in various projects over the next two decades, notably performing the song "Macho Duck" on the Mickey Mouse Disco album in the 1970s. (Contrary to popular belief, however, Nash did not perform the duck voice for Rick Dees' "Disco Duck")

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Nash's performance as Donald in Mickey's Christmas Carol made Donald the only character in the film to be voiced by his original actor.

Children's entertainment

In the late 1970s, Nash was known for often taking walks in the neighborhood around Fremont Elementary School in Glendale, Californiamarker, entertaining children with his Donald Duck voice.

Death

Clarence Nash died in 1985 of leukemia and was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemeterymarker in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, Californiamarker. The tombstone of the grave he now shares with his wife Margaret Nash (who died in 1993) depicts a carving of Donald and Daisy Duck holding hands .

After Nash

After Nash's death, Donald's voice has been taken up by Disney animator Tony Anselmo, who was trained under Nash personally. Anselmo is also among the many voiceover artists to have also voiced Huey, Dewey and Louie over the years. Later characters whose voices owe considerable credit to Nash's duck voice have been voiced by actors such as Jimmy Weldon, Frank Welker, Luba Goy and Red Coffee. The most prominent of these is Weldon's Yakky Doodle for Hanna-Barbera.

References

External links




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