The Guy Who Did the Voice for Tony the Tiger also Sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
Today I found out the guy who did the voice for Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger also sang the iconic “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” song in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The man was Thurl Ravenscroft. Ravenscroft originally went unintentionally uncredited in the film. Because of this, a common misconception rose up that it was Boris Karloff, the narrator of the movie, who did the singing for the song.
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) himself tried to rectify the issue by writing letters to various journalists explaining the oversight and asking if they mention the movie and song, that they give Ravenscroft proper credit. He also called Ravenscroft and apologized for the mix up.
Over his 65 year career as a voice actor, before his death in 2005 at the age of 91 from prostate cancer, Ravenscroft accumulated quite the portfolio besides the Tony the Tiger voice and singing in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He lent his vocal talents to such films as Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Horton Hears a Who!, The Hobbit (cartoon), The Brave Little Toaster, and many, many more. He also can be heard even today on numerous rides in Disney Land and Disney World, including the the Pirates of the Caribbean, Tiki Room, and Haunted Mansion rides.
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- The character of Tony the Tiger was originally sketched by Eugene Kolkey who submitted his tiger drawing in the contest for the mascot for the new Frosted Flakes cereal in 1951. Kolkey named the tiger “Tony” in homage to his boss, Raymond Anthony Wells (also known as Leo Burnett).
- Before the winner of the contest was chosen, the cereal originally had other mascots, including Kary the Kangaroo, Newt the Gnu, and Elmo the Elephant.
- Thurl Ravenscroft was not the original voice of Tony the Tiger. In the original advertisements featuring Tony the Tiger, Dallas McKennon did the voice, but was quickly replaced by Ravenscroft. McKennon was also a noted voice actor, even lending his vocal talents to movies Ravenscroft was also in, such as Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Mary Poppins, and others. He’s probably best known for his role as Gumby and also Buzz Buzzard in the Woody Woodpecker show.
- Since Ravenscroft’s death in 2005, professional wrestling announcer Lee Marshall has done the voice for Tony the Tiger.