Wednesday, June 2, 2010

“What’s on your mind, Mac?”

Today is the 95th natal anniversary of an individual who possessed one of the most distinctive voices in radio, television and movies: the incomparable Walter Tetley. Walter’s signature roles in the aural medium were that of Leroy Forrester, the wisenheimer nephew of The Great Gildersleeve (the cast is pictured above) and Julius Abruzzio, the abrasive grocery boy from The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show—and he later achieved immortality as the voice of Sherman, Mr. Peabody’s “pet boy” on the Peabody’s Improbable History segments of Rocky and His Friends

On the silver screen, he provided the voice of Andy Panda and had memorable parts in such films as You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), Out of the Fog (1941), Who Done It? (1942) and It's in the Bag! (1945). Ironically, he wasn’t considered “right” to reprise his radio role as Leroy in any of the four Gildersleeve films cranked out by R-K-O from 1942 to 1944—but he does play a bellhop in the best of the bunch, Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943). Thrilling Days of Yesteryear feels it’s only proper to give this incredibly talented performer a shout-out on his birthday, and if you’re interested in reading a wonderful biography on Tetley you should snap up a copy of Ben Ohmart and Charles Stumpf’s Walter Tetley: For Corn’s Sake.

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