Don Messick

Voice actor, Actor
One of the most prolific and versatile voice actors of the 20th century, Don Messick voiced such iconic childhood favorites as Scooby-Doo, Boo Boo, Astro, Papa Smurf and dozens of other roles for Hanna-Barbera's stable ... Read more »
Born: 09/06/1926 in Buffalo, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (114)

Jonny Quest Versus the Cyber Insects 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Voice

Arabian Nights 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Tom and Jerry Kids Show 1990 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

A Pup Named Scooby Doo 1988 - 1993 (TV Show)

Voice

I Yabba-Dabba Doo! 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Voice

It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda 1990 - 1992 (TV Show)

Voice

The Last Halloween 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Voice

Yo! Yogi 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Voice

Wake, Rattle & Roll 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Jetsons: The Movie 1990 (Movie)

of Astro the Dog (Voice)

The Smurfs 1981 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

'Tis the Season to Be Smurfy 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Voice

Popeye and Son 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Voice

The New Adventures of Jonny Quest 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Voice

The Smurfs Christmas Special 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Voice

Goltar and the Golden Lance 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Voice

Scooby's Mystery Funhouse 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Voice

The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Voice

The New Jetsons 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Voice

The Paw Paws 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Voice

Transformers - The Movie 1986 (Movie)

of Gears (Voice)

Yogi's Treasure Hunt 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Voice

Mighty Orbots 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Voice

Smurfily Ever After 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Voice

The Duck Factory 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Transformers 1984 (TV Show)

Voice

My Smurfy Valentine 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Voice

The Wrong Way Kid 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Voice

Jokebook 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo 1979 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

The Drak Pack 1980 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

The Flintstones 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

The Heathcliff and Marmaduke Show 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

The Space Stars 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

Flintstone Family Adventures 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Voice

Godzilla 1978 - 1981 (TV Show)

Voice

Jack Frost 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Voice

The All-New Popeye Hour 1978 - 1981 (TV Show)

Voice

Fred and Barney Meet the Thing 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Voice

The Adventures of Jonny Quest 1964 - 1980 (TV Show)

Voice

The World's Greatest Super Heroes 1978 - 1980 (TV Show)

Voice

Challenge of the Super Friends 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Voice

The New Fred and Barney Show 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Voice

Hong Kong Phooey 1974 - 1978 (TV Show)

Voice

Jabberjaw 1976 - 1978 (TV Show)

Voice

Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Voice

The Bang-Shang Lalapalooza Show 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Voice

The C.B. Bears 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Voice

The Oddball Couple 1975 - 1977 (TV Show)

Voice

The First Christmas Snow 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jetsons 1962 - 1976 (TV Show)

Voice

Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Yogi's Gang 1973 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Bailey's Comets 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Voice

Gidget Makes the Wrong Connection 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Voice

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space 1972 - 1974 (TV Show)

Voice

Lost in Space 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? 1969 - 1974 (TV Show)

Voice

The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan 1972 - 1974 (TV Show)

Voice

The Flintstone Comedy Hour 1972 - 1974 (TV Show)

Voice

Charlotte's Web 1973 (Movie)

(Voice)

The Barkleys 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Voice

Doctor Dolittle 1970 - 1972 (TV Show)

Voice

Josie and the Pussycats 1970 - 1972 (TV Show)

Voice

Pebbles and Bamm Bamm 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Voice

The Cattanooga Cats 1969 - 1971 (TV Show)

Voice

The Perils of Penelope Pitstop 1969 - 1971 (TV Show)

Voice

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour 1968 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Wacky Races 1968 - 1970 (TV Show)

Voice

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio 1967 - 1969 (TV Show)

Voice

Birdman 1967 - 1968 (TV Show)

Voice

Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles 1966 - 1968 (TV Show)

Voice

Space Ghost 1966 - 1968 (TV Show)

Voice

The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show 1965 - 1968 (TV Show)

Voice

The Magilla Gorilla Show 1963 - 1967 (TV Show)

Voice

The Peter Potamus Show 1964 - 1967 (TV Show)

Voice

The Flintstones 1960 - 1966 (TV Show)

Voice

The Huckleberry Hound Show 1958 - 1962 (TV Show)

Voice

Yogi Bear 1960 - 1962 (TV Show)

Voice

Casper's First Christmas (TV Show)

Voice

Foofur (TV Show)

Voice

Inch High, Private Eye (TV Show)

Voice

Jeannie (TV Show)

Voice

Jonny's Golden Quest (TV Show)

Voice

Pink Panther and Sons (TV Show)

Voice

Rockin' With Judy Jetson (TV Show)

Voice

Rudolph's Shiny New Year (TV Show)

Actor

Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (TV Show)

Voice

Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood (TV Show)

Voice

Scooby-Doo Meets Batman (TV Show)

Actor

Shazzan! (TV Show)

Voice

The First Easter Rabbit (TV Show)

Voice

The Get Along Gang (TV Show)

Voice

The Hobbit (TV Show)

Voice

Yogi's Great Escape (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

One of the most prolific and versatile voice actors of the 20th century, Don Messick voiced such iconic childhood favorites as Scooby-Doo, Boo Boo, Astro, Papa Smurf and dozens of other roles for Hanna-Barbera's stable of animated television programs, as well as other companies. He began his career as a ventriloquist before attempting to break into show business via television puppet shows. When the format was phased out in the early 1950s, Messick turned to the major animation studios, briefly voicing Droopy before teaming with Daws Butler on most of Hanna-Barbera's best-known series. In addition to his major characters, Messick also narrated many shows while also providing background voices and vocal sound effects for hundreds of episodes. The various iterations of Scooby-Doo kept Messick busy until the 1990s, when he retired from voice acting following a stroke in 1996. Messick's death in 1997 was mourned by the best and brightest in his field, which recalled his work as an inspiration to animation performers, creators and fans everywhere.

Donald Earl Messick was born on Sept. 7, 1926 in Buffalo, NY to house painter Binford Messick and his wife, Lena. The family moved to Baltimore soon after his birth before his father's search for work required them to relocate to the remote town of Nanticoke. There, Messick became aware of voice acting through listening to the versatile actors on weekly radio series. Initially, he parlayed his interest through a self-taught ventriloquist act, which he performed at various functions throughout the Chesapeake Bay's Eastern Shore at the age of 13. Two years later, he had earned his own one-man radio show on WBOC, the area's sole radio station. After graduating from high school at 16, Messick moved back to Baltimore, where he trained as an actor. He soon found work on local radio before being drafted into the Army in 1944. There, he performed for troops stationed across the country as part of the Special Services department.

After his discharge from the military, Messick headed to the West Coast to act in a radio drama on KGO radio in San Francisco. He then moved to Hollywood, where he secured a theatrical agent for variety show performances and local theater. He briefly returned to the East Coast, where he struggled to find work, but a call from animator Bob Clampett brought him back to California to work on a puppet show called "Time for Beany" (KTLA/Paramount Television Network, 1949-1955), which was the live-action predecessor to the influential "Beany and Cecil" (ABC, 1962) animated series. At the time, the show featured voice actor Daws Butler, who would later become Messick's frequent co-star on countless Hanna-Barbera programs, as well as one of his closest friends.

Though Messick was not cast on "Time for Beany," he was signed to a six-year contract to work on other televised puppet shows. Unfortunately, such programming was being phased out by most networks, which saved money by airing a block of cartoons instead of hiring a full staff of puppeteers for their children's programming. Messick began offering his talents to various animation studios, and landed his big break in the early '50s when Butler recommended him to replace actor Bill Thompson as the voice of Droopy, the deadpan canine hero of numerous MGM animated shorts. When the studio's chief animation producers, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, opened their own studio in 1957, they hired Butler and Messick to provide the voices for most of their animated series. Frequently cast as an amiable sidekick or foil to Butler's leads, Messick voiced Yogi Bear's diminutive voice of conscience, Boo Boo, as well as the perpetually thwarted Ranger Smith. He was also Pixie the mouse in the "Pixie and Dixie" segments, one of several actors to voice Bamm-Bamm on "The Flintstones" (NBC, 1960-65), Atom Ant, Dr. Benton Quest on "Jonny Quest" (ABC, 1964-65), space dog Astro on "The Jetsons" (ABC, 1962-63) and the snickering Muttley on "The Wacky Races" (CBS, 1968-69). In addition to these characters, Messick also narrated many of the shows in appropriately authoritative tones while also providing a host of screeches, cries and sound effects for various aliens, monsters and creatures of all stripes.

In 1969, Messick began a three-decade tenure as the voice of Scooby-Doo, the mystery-solving Great Dane who began his long television career with "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" (ABC, 1969-1970). He would voice the canine character in all of its spin-off series, including "The New Scooby-Doo Movie" (CBS, 1972-1973), "The Scooby-Doo Show" (ABC, 1976-78) and "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" (ABC, 1988-1991), while also voicing Scrappy-Doo, Scooby's overeager nephew. Though Hanna-Barbera projects like "Scooby" and the similar "Josie and the Pussycats" (CBS, 1970-71) took up much of his work in the 1970s, Messick also contributed voices to Rankin/Bass animated efforts like "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" (CBS, 1976) and "The Hobbit" (NBC, 1977), as well as live-action theatrical features like "The Andromeda Strain" (1970) and "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971). The 1980s found Messick as active as ever, performing Papa Smurf on "The Smurfs" (NBC, 1981-89) and several robot heroes on "Transformers" (syndicated, 1984-88) while reprising all of his major Hanna-Barbera characters in a dizzying array of spin-offs and new versions of older series. He also earned a rare on-camera role as voice actor Wally Wooster on the short-lived NBC sitcom "The Duck Factory" (1984), which starred Jim Carrey as a naïve young animator at a cartoon company.

In the 1990s, he added Hamton J. Pig, faithful student to Porky Pig on "Tiny Toon Adventures" (CBS/syndicated/Fox/WB Kids, 1990-95). Messick remained exceptionally active until September 1996, when he suffered a stroke while recording voices for Hanna-Barbera, and subsequently announced his retirement from voice acting. Messick's long career was feted at a party attended by many of his voice-acting peers, including Henry Corden, Casey Kasem and June Foray, who worked alongside him on "The Smurfs" in addition to voicing Rocket J. Squirrel on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" (ABC/NBC, 1959-1964). A second stroke claimed Messick's life on Oct. 27, 1997; as with his longtime collaborator Daws Butler, dozens of voice actors were required to take over the multitude of roles he played throughout his adult life.

By Paul Gaita

Milestones

1957

Cast in Hanna-Barbaera's first tv series under it's own banner called "Ruff 'n' Ready"

1950

Cast as the voice of Raggedy Andy in the radio series "The Raggedy Anne Show"

Moved to Hollywood

Served in the Army during WWII

Raised in Maryland

Served as a ventriloquist on "The Buffalo Billy Show" on WCBS-TV

Provided the voices for tv puppet shows

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