Ventriloquist and inventor Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger in
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh films, died in his Los Angeles home on June 24. He was 82.
The New Yorker led an extraordinary life, after contracting polio at the
young age of six and fighting a speech impediment, he went on to be a huge
success in all three of his chosen careers–in inventing, TV hosting and as an
As an inventor, he patented over 30 ideas, including ones for an artificial
heart, a disposable razor, a flameless cigarette lighter and an invisible
After hosting children’s TV shows in the 1950s and 1960s, he landed the
voiceover role as the bouncing tiger in the Disney adaptations of A.A. Milne’s
Winnie the Pooh stories in 1968 and provided Tigger’s vocals until 1999.
His first outing as Tigger in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
contributed to the movie picking up an Oscar for Best Short Film, and he went
on to win a Grammy for Best Children’s Recording for the song “The Most
Wonderful Things About Tiggers” from the film Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too in
Winchell is survived by wife Jean, five children and three grandchildren.
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