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Verna Felton (July 20, 1890, Salinasmarker, CaliforniamarkerDecember 14, 1966, Hollywoodmarker, California) was an Emmy-nominated Americanmarker actress who was best-known for providing many female voices in numerous Disney animated films, as well as voicing Fred Flintstone's mother-in-law Pearl Slaghoople for Hanna-Barbera.Her film appearances during the 1940s included If I Had My Way (1940), Girls of the Big House (1945) and The Fuller Brush Man (1948). She was much in demand as a movie character actress during the early 1950s, including Belles on Their Toes (1952) and Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and her memorable supporting role of Mrs. Potts in the film of William Inge's Picnic (1956).

Radio and television

She also worked extensively in radio, notably playing Junior the Mean Widdle Kid's grandmother on Red Skelton's radio series and Dennis Day's mother on The Jack Benny Program. She also performed on radio as a regular on The Abbott and Costello Show. Felton was married to radio actor Lee Millar (1888-1941), who also did animation voices (notably for Disney's Pluto), and their son, Lee Carson Millar Jr. (1924-1980), appeared as an actor on a variety of TV shows between 1952 and 1967.

Her guest appearances on I Love Lucy led to a regular supporting role as Hilda Crocker on the CBS sitcom December Bride, with Spring Byington, Dean Miller, Frances Rafferty, and Harry Morgan. She continued her Hilda Crocker role on the December Bride spin-off, Pete and Gladys, starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams. She was also the original voice of Pearl Slaghoople (Wilma Flintstone's mother), voicing the character as a semi-regular on The Flintstones from 1960 to 1964.

Disney and MGM

Felton was a popular actress at the Walt Disney Studios and MGM Studios, lending her voice to several animated features, including:

Synchronistically, Felton died of a stroke on the evening of December 14, 1966, only hours before the death of Walt Disney early the following morning.

Elephants on parade

Both her first and her last voice acting roles for Disney were those of elephants, The Matriarch Elephant in Dumbo, Eloise the Elephant from Goliath II and Winifred the Elephant in The Jungle Book. Besides the two elephants, her warm character voice was versatile enough to voice two kind fairies (Fairy Godmother and Flora) and three villains (Matriarch, Queen of Hearts and Aunt Sarah).

References

  • Terrace, Vincent. Radio Programs, 1924-1984. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1999. ISBN 0-7864-0351-9


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