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Sterling Price Holloway, Jr. (January 4, 1905 – November 22, 1992) was a character actor who appeared in 150 films and television shows, and a long-standing voice actor for the Walt Disney Studios, most famously voicing Winnie the Pooh.


Early life

Holloway was named after Confederate General Sterling "Pap" Price. He was born in Cedartown, Georgiamarker in the College Park area in 1905, where his father Sterling Price Holloway Sr. was prominent and prosperous, owning a grocery store and serving as mayor in 1912. After attending the Georgia Military Academy in College Park, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Holloway made his way through the Theater Guild to appear in the first joint venture of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Garrick Gaieties, a series of 1920s revues. With his light tenor voice, young Holloway made a foray into a professional singing. He introduced the Rodgers and Hart standard "I'll Take Manhattan" in 1925, and in the 1926 edition of Garrick Gaieties, he introduced their "Mountain Greenery" ("... where God paints the scenery").

He came back to Cedartown often. That's where he met Frances Lawrence, a native to Georgia. They dated briefly, and soon after parted.


In 1926, the , Holloway moved to Hollywood to a movie career of almost 50 years. He worked with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Lon Chaney Jr, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, David Carradine. Though he was a busy movie character actor, he soon found his niche as a voice actor. Holloway served in World War II as a member of the Army's Special Services unit. He produced a show for servicemen and toured with it near the front lines in North Africa and Italy.

In 1941, he was heard in Dumbo, as the voice of "Mr. Stork." Walt Disney earlier considered Holloway for the role of Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but storyman Pinto Colvig ended up getting the job. He was the voice of the adult "Flower" in Bambi, the narrator of the Antarctic penguin sequence in The Three Caballeros, the narrator in the Peter and the Wolf sequence of Make Mine Music, and the narrator of the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" sequence of "Fun and Fancy Free". He voiced Kaa in The Jungle Book, the narrator in Goliath II, the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland, and Roquefort in The Aristocats. His Disney Winnie-the-Pooh featurettes are well known. Disney honored him as a Disney legend in 1991. His last narrating credit was the Moonlighting episode Atomic Shakespeare. His last film credit was for the movie Thunder and Lightning. Holloway played the role of Hobe Carpenter, a friendly moonshiner who gets help from Harley Thomas (David Carradine).

Radio and recordings

As a radio actor, he was heard on such shows as The Railroad Hour, The United States Steel Hour, Suspense and Lux Radio Theater. With a distinctive voice, he narrated numerous children's records, such as Uncle Remus Stories (Decca), Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Disneyland Records) and Peter and the Wolf (RCA Victor).


Sterling Holloway's career as a character actor, his memorably comic face, tousled sandy hair and squeaky voice, made the transition to television. He had a recurring role as Uncle Oscar, an eccentric inventor in the Adventures of Superman series, and had a recurring role on The Life of Riley. He's known to have guest-starred on Fred Waring's CBS television program in the early 1950s. He guest starred in such TV shows as Circus Boy as a hot air balloonist, Five Fingers (episode "The Temple of the Swinging Doll"), The Untouchables, Hazel, The Twilight Zone (episode "What's in the Box"), The Brothers Brannagan, Gilligan's Island, The Andy Griffith Show, F-Troop, and Moonlighting (his final appearance on film, narrating a Shakespeare-themed episode).

Later years

Little is known about Holloway's personal life except that he adopted a son, Richard, who became a producer. He once admitted to being very stubborn. During his final years, he purchased a house in Los Angeles, where he amassed a major collection of contemporary art about which he sometimes lectured. Holloway was 87 when he died of cardiac arrest November 22, 1992 at a Los Angeles hospital. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. A street in Hollywood was named after Holloway in the 1980s. Remaining in real life true to the character of his 1933 short Not the Marrying Kind, Holloway was throughout his life a bachelor.



Short subjects

Television episodes

Holloway as he appeared in "The Twilight Zone" episode, "What's in the Box"
  • The Adventures of Superman - The Machine That Could Plot Crimes (1952) also the same year in the Superman episode "The Whistling Bird" in which he plays the same eccentric scientist
  • The Life of Riley (1953-1958)
  • Willy 1955
  • Our Mr. Sun (1956) (voice of chlorophyll)
  • Hemo the Magnificent (1957)
  • The Twilight Zone, episode "What's in the Box", as the TV repairman (1964)
  • The Restless Sea (1964)
  • The Baileys of Balboa (1964-1965)
  • That Girl (episode 14, "Phantom of the Horse Opera") (1966)
  • Tukiki and His Search for a Merry Christmas (1979) (voice)
  • Andy Griffith Show, as Bert, a traveling salesman (1962)
  • F-Troop, as the Sheriff, episode "Wilton the Kid" (1966)
  • Gilligan's Island (1967), as Birdy, a man with a fondness for birds.
  • Moonlighting - Atomic Shakespeare (1986) narrator

See also

External links

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