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.