There are few things that Frank Welker hasn’t accomplished in his 53 years as a voice actor.
He’s voiced over 800 productions, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Emmys, appeared in 14 Oscar-winning films, and voiced over a dozen characters who’ve had balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not to mention his iconic 53-year run as the voice of Fred Jones in the Scooby-Doo franchise.
But the one thing that has proved elusive for Welker is a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A fan recently asked him via his website why he doesn’t have a star yet and Welker’s response was astonishing.
“I have been asked to submit for admittance to the Walk of fame a couple of times and others have submitted on my behalf,” wrote Welker, “but the officials in charge have not found me worthy so no walk of fame.”
One of Welker’s fan, Bradford Smith, is trying to change that now. He tells Cartoon Brew, “Clearly, getting a star is about who you know and the media attention you can get, and since Frank’s too humble a man to ask for himself, I think it’s up to all of us, his fans, to get him the proper recognition he deserves.”
Smith runs a Twitter account dedicated specifically to the cause of getting Welker his overdue star. He believes right now is an especially good time to start campaigning because nominations for the next round of stars opens next month.
Smith also lays out a convincing case for why Welker deserves a star. We’re sharing it here for anyone who may not be familiar with how remarkable Welker’s career has been:
The list of studios Frank has worked for are equally endless. For thirteen straight years, Frank appeared in every Walt Disney Feature Animation film (from The Great Mouse Detective in 1986 to Tarzan in 1999) — that’s the entirety of the “Disney Renaissance” and then some — and during the seven year run of the Disney Afternoon, Frank appeared in every television series in the block. For Hanna-Barbera Mr. Welker was the original voice for a plethora of classic characters, including Fred Jones of Scooby-Doo (who he’s been voicing for over 50 years), Dynomutt, and Jabberjaw. For a brief while he was even the voice of Barney Rubble. And at Nickelodeon, Frank has a long list of Nicktoon appearances (Spongebob, Catdog, he’s even the voice of Goddard on Jimmy Neutron).
Whatever decade you grew up in, Frank Welker was the man behind characters you loved, but none mores than children of the eighties, as Frank played significant roles in The Smurfs (Hefty Smurf), The Real Ghostbusters (Slimer), Inspector Gadget (Dr. Claw), Muppet Babies (Kermit) and last, but certainly not least, Transformers (Megatron). And children continue to be entertained by Frank as he continues voicing childhood icons like Scooby-Doo (a role he’s held 20 years), Curious George (16 years), Abu (30 years), and Nibbler (23 years). Look up a cartoon and there’s good odds Frank’s made an appearance, whether it be as a human, monkey, dog or something else entirely.
Animated projects aside, Frank has toiled away working in live-action for just as long, having starred alongside Elvis Presley (The Trouble with Girls), Kurt Russell (The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes) and Don Knotts (How to Frame a Figg) in the early days of his career. And while he’s continued working in live-action, a lot of that work goes unnoticed, despite Frank playing crucial roles. For Raiders of the Lost Ark, Frank voiced the capuchin monkey who is poisoned by a date. For Cujo, Frank voiced the eponymous, rabid dog. And for Gremlins, Frank lent his voice to the sinister Stripe.