Today, we thought we would introduce you to the quartet of actors that collectively gave their voice to our Bedrock friends, The Flintstones, over fifty years ago. Sadly, none of these remarkable talents are still with us, but the memories remain strong, thanks to the six seasons they spent together – bringing Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty to life in such a magical way. Let’s take a look at the people behind the voices.
First up is Alan Reed, the voice of Fred until his passing in 1977. He last performed the character for an episode of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics that same year. After his death, Henry Corden would take over the role for the next 28 years. Here is a wonderful clip from The Beverly Hillbillies that featured Alan Reed. You shouldn’t have any problem recognizing the gruff and gravelly voice:
Fred’s wife Wilma and their daughter Pebbles were portrayed by the lovely Jean Vander Pyle. Besides Wilma, she was also the voice of Rosie the Robot from another Hanna-Barbera series, The Jetsons. She also worked on Inch High Private Eye, Hong Kong Phooey, and The Huckleberry Hound Show, to name but a few. She continued to voice Wilma up until the mid-90s. Here’s a clip from Quick Draw McGraw in 1960, featuring Jean doing her best Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn impressions.
Bea Benaderet, the original voice of Betty Rubble, was not only a voice actress, but also a familiar face on television, appearing on Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies in the 60s. And although she wasn’t chosen to play the role of Granny in the latter series, she did happen to voice the Granny character in Warner Brothers popular Tweety and Sylvester cartoons from 1943-1955. Sadly, Ms. Benederet passed away in 1968. Here is a clip of her from Petticoat Junction.
Last, but certainly not least, Barney Rubble was performed by none other than the “man of a thousand voices” Mel Blanc. One of the most prolific voice artists of all time, his resume includes Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester and Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and many, many others. He originally worked with Bea Benederet and Allen Reed on radio’s The Jack Benny Show. Here’s a classic clip of Johnny Carson interviewing the great Mel Blanc on The Tonight Show.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the wonderful voice actors from The Flintstones. It really was a remarkably talented team that brought this classic cartoon to life. As always, we welcome your memories and thoughts in our