Thurl Ravenscroft

Thurl Ravenscroft

The name may not ring a bell, but rest assured that at some point in your life, perhaps even hundreds of times, you’ve heard the booming baritone voice of Thurl Ravenscroft. From 1940-2005, his voice was heard on television almost daily, and his voice work for Walt Disney, on records, films and at Disneyland is legendary.

So, where might you have heard his voice? Well, perhaps most famously, he was the voice of Tony the Tiger, mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, for five decades.

Ravenscroft also recorded an enormous body of work for Disney. His singing quartet, The Mellomen, previously worked as background singers for artists such as Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and Rosemary Clooney, before lending their vocal magic to such animated classics as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Lady and the Tramp.

Thurl also provided his deep voice to numerous attractions at Disneyland. Most memorable is his appearance in The Haunted Mansion graveyard scene, where he and the other Mellomen perform as the unforgettable singing busts.

In 1966, Ravenscroft boisterously chastised the Grinch in the classic Dr. Seuss holiday offering, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, with his timeless rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

Despite the popularity of the tune, Thurl is uncredited, which has led many to believe that Boris Karloff (who played the speaking role) sang the song. Some have even suggested that Tennessee Ernie Ford did the singing. Anyone who knows Ravencroft’s voice though will recognize it in an instant.

This is all the tip of the iceberg though. Remember the song “No Dogs Allowed” from the 1972 Peanuts film, Snoopy Come Home? That was Thurl as well. You may have also heard him in Mary Poppins, The Aristocats, The Brave Little Toaster and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Sadly, Thurl passed away in 2005, at the age of 91, after a career that spanned over fifty years. Thankfully, his voice still resonates in the timeless music and characters he created, and with everyone to whom he brought joy with his work.

If you have any fond memories of hearing Thurl Ravenscrofts work, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts with all of us in our comments section below.

6 Responses to “Thurl Ravenscroft”

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  1. D-Rock says:

    Thurl’s is certainly not a household name to the masses, but to those of us who love classic animation, he’s definitely well-known. He had one of the most unmistakable voices in the business. And he appeared in so many voiceover roles. Several were only supporting roles, but when he’s in a scene, you know it!

    To this day, I’d have to say that his rendition of the Grinch’s song is my favorite of his works. It’s not Christmas without hearing that blast from the past!

  2. Eric says:

    Well said, D-Rock. He did so much wonderful work, more than I ever could have fit into one blog post. Thanks for sharing your memories!

  3. Allie Fox says:

    Wow! I can’t believe it’s been five years since he’s passed.

    His voice was so familiar to more than a generation of kids what with Tony the Tiger and The Grinch. I’m personally have fond memories of his “No Dogs Allowed” from “Snoopy Come Home.”

    He certainly was GRRREAT!!!!

  4. soulblazer says:

    It is the face I love to see when I enter the graveyard, the voice I NEED to hear and the man I’m sure I miss. If Thurl is his real name, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Real talent with genuine fun you can hear and that you see on his face; especially the clip of his “bust” in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Watch it all the way through and be dazzled from the range of emotion that he conveys only from his facial expressions.

    Thank you Mr. Ravenscroft and thank you again!

  5. princessdiana says:

    I remember him as Tony The Tiger,and The Grinch Song,on the way home one Easter night I heard Wagon Wheels on the radio,It was Thurl Ravencroft.

  6. princessdiana says:

    I forgot about NO Dogs Allowed from Snoopy Come Home.

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