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Cartoon Culture

Allan Melvin (1922-2008)


Character actor Allan Melvin – the voice of Magilla Gorilla – has passed away at age 84.

He provided numerous voices for Hanna Barbera characters, including significant parts on The Banana Splits, Hong Kong Phooey and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. He was also the voice of Bluto on HB’s All New Popeye Hour and Popeye and Son. On camera, Melvin is best known as Sam The Butcher on The Brady Bunch and Cpl. Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show. He died on Thursday January 17th of cancer.

  • I was just thinking about Allan Melvin this morning before reading this. I was watching Magilla Gorilla last week and had just started doing some research into it.

    Once again, another member of the Hanna Barbera family has been lost.

  • Jess Price

    When I think of Allan Melvin, my first thoughts are of his multiple “Mayberry” characters. He played 9 different bit parts on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD – not to mention the recurring character of Sgt. Hacker on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. I always liked when he made appearances.

    Looking over his animation credits, however, you’ll find quite a variety of cartoons. Lots of HB work, as Jerry mentions – but also some interesting bit parts in the 80s: DuckTales, GoBots, Smurfs, and more.

    I’ll definitely keep an ear out for Melvin’s distinctive voice when watching cartoons from now on…

  • What a great character actor. He was on so many great shows, and had some great parts (see ‘Andy Griffith’). His name may not be remembered, but we’ll see his face on those old shows forever. RIP

  • Don’t forget Allan Melvin was also Barney Hefner on All in the Family/Archie Bunker’s Place.

  • Well, more and more of early to-mid 20th century icons are gone. Good thing we still have Bill Melendez, the guy behind the “Charlie Brown” specials and voice of Snoopy.

  • Fred Sparrman

    The titular voice in the movie “Pufnstuf”! (But not in the TV series.)

  • I posted a bunch of TV episodes featuring Allan Melvin on my site Classic Television Showbiz. It includes entire episodes of Lost in Space, The Andy Griffith Show, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, The Phil Silvers Show, My Favorite Martian and also clips from the Beetle Bailey cartoon (he voiced Sarge) and a commercial for a plumming product that he was featured in:

  • He was a great comedic tough guy, I don’t ever remember him in a straight or dramatic role. I always think of him as the voice of virtually ALL of the criminals in all 6 seasons of the Flintstones.
    He was ALSO Drooper on the Banana Splits, Peter Potamus, The Sheep Dog in …It’s The Wolf, and Punkin Puss!

  • Lest we forget — Liquid Plummer!

  • I just got in my “Magic Behind the Voices” book!! It is a true can’t-put-it-downer!! (In the same day…I get my PINK book….guys….get ON this bandwagon!!!)

  • J Lee

    Before Melvin was Magilla, he voiced Sgt. Snorkel for the KFS Beetle Bailey cartoons.

  • Vintage Betty

    Thanks for the lovely tribute to the wonderful Allan Melvin.

  • Keith Sewell

    Hey Bill Field,DAWS BUTLER was the voice of Peter Potamus,not ALLAN MELVIN. In addition to Sgt. Snorkel,J Lee,Allan was also the voices of privates ROCKY and COSMO. He brought life to so many animated characters: Magilla Gorilla,Punkin’ Puss,Bumbler (AROUND THE WORLD IN 79 DAYS),Barney Google (in two SNUFFY SMITH episodes),Superguy (an episode of ATOM ANT),King Vultan and Thun,(from Filmation’s FLASH GORDON series),Bluto/Brutus (from the Hanna-Barbera’s POPEYE show,in addition to POPEYE AND SON),Bristle Hound (IT’S THE WOLF!),Tyrone,and all of Waldo Kitty’s nemesis (THE MANY LIVES OF WALDO KITTY),heard so often in characters on THE FLINTSTONES,KID POWER,THE ATOM ANT SHOW,THE SECRET SQUIRREL SHOW,Drooper of the BANANA SPLITS,Alice’s father and Humpty Dumpty of Hanna-Barbera’a version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND,Bunko (THE ADVENTURES OF GULLIVER),even did a one-shot voice stint as I-HOP the kangaroo,in a I-HOP restaurant ad. He’s now with DAWS BUTLER,PAUL FREES,MEL BLANC,DON MESSICK,HOWARD MORRIS,PAUL WINCHELL,BILLY LOU WATT,JACKSON BECK,BILL SCOTT,and all those other great voice acting talents. We’re really losing them all.