Sad, Sad news indeed. Humorist, writer, songwriter, puppeteer and cartoon voice artist Stan Freberg passed away this morning.
Stan’s estranged son, Donavan, posted the news this morning on his Facebook page. Exact details are still coming forward.
Freberg was one of the 20th Century’s great satirists. His skills as a voice actor (for classic Warner Bros. Disney, UPA cartoons) are less known then his work as a radio performer, movie and TV actor. I met Stan in his later years and he was as great a human being as the he was one of our greatest wits.
I met Stan when I moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s – he was a major part of the animation community. I was most surprised, upon our first meeting, that he already knew my name – as he had a copy of my book (with Will Friedwald) Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide To The Warner Bros. Cartoons. He thanked me, often, for giving him credit in print for all the Warner Bros. cartoons he had a part in. He had been miffed that he was unable to get screen credit (Mel Blanc had an exclusive credit by contract) – save for one classic Friz Freleng short, Three Little Bops (1957).
We have been friends ever since – and I was honored to compile cartoon clips and speak (with Eric Goldberg) at the star-studded tribute to Freberg this past November that filled the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. I was grateful Stan was with us that evening to hear and feel the love – I’m even more grateful about that today.
Rest in Peace, Stan. You were one of a kind.