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10 Legendary Cartoon Voices (and where else you may have heard them)

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Well, there goes more of my childhood. Lucille Bliss, better known as the voice of Smurfette, passed away last week at the age of 96. While she was probably known best for her role as the Smurf Village sweetheart, Bliss enjoyed a 60-year career in Hollywood. Her long list of famous parts includes Anastasia, Cinderella's wicked stepsister; the "Kanine Krunchies" commercial singer in 101 Dalmatians; and Mrs. Fitzgibbons in The Secret of NIHM.

My six-year-old mind would have been totally blown to learn that the lovely Smurfette was the same person as the horrible Anastasia. Here are a few others that would have boggled my brain — and might surprise you as well.

1. Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright, AKA Bart Simpson, has also been the voice of Rufus on Kim Possible, Kip Kangaroo on Shirt Tales and, for a few episodes, Chuckie on Rugrats. Plus, extreme fans of Who Framed Roger Rabbit might recognize her as the voice of the "dipped" shoe. OK, probably not.

2. Billy West

stacy4.jpgNo doubt you've heard Billy West but perhaps you've never heard OF him (or maybe it's just me who is really oblivious). This guy is all over the place. For five shows, he gave Stimpy a voice on Nickelodeon's Ren and Stimpy; he's been Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Pepe Le Pew and Elmer Fudd on various projects since the 1996 movie Space Jam; and he was the voice of Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Leo Wong and President Richard Nixon's Head on Futurama. Howard Stern fans will remember West as the voice of the Jackie Puppet and various other characters from 1989-1995. And he's also the current voice of Buzz, the Honey-Nut Cheerios Bee (Wikipedia claims Sterling Holloway was the original Honey-Nut Cheerios Bee, but we can't find anything to back that up.)

3. Eleanor Audley

I have to mention Eleanor Audley because she is the voice of the psychic whose head is floating in the crystal ball at the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion. In addition to being in my favorite theme park attraction ever, Eleanor Audley was also Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. I guess she just had a perfectly sinister voice.

4. Verna Felton

Verna Felton is another voice actress the Disney company frequently employed. She was one of the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty (Flora), Aunt Sarah in Lady and the Tramp, the fairy godmother in Cinderella, and, my personal favorite, the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.


5. Patrick Warburton

Seinfeld fans know Patrick Warburton as Elaine's on-again-off-again boyfriend David Putty. His voice is so distinctive, though, that it's easy to place it when you hear it coming through the screen. Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove? That's Patrick Warburton. Joe Swanson, the cop on Family Guy? Brock Samson from the Venture Brothers? Buzz Lightyear in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the TV show that followed Toy Story? Patrick Warburton. High five.


6. Mae Questel

Although voluptuous Betty Boop and skinny-as-a-broomstick Olive Oyl couldn't be much different, they are actually the same person: Mae Questel. Interestingly, it looks like she didn't do Betty's voice from about 1939 until Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988. Though she's not a cartoon character, it may also interest you to know that Questel played Aunt Bethany in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Is your house on fire, Clark?

7. Daws Butler

stacy8.jpgThe Hanna Barbera world is just as entwined as Disney and Warner Brothers. Daws Butler is probably best known for being the voice of Yogi Bear, but he was also Elroy Jetson, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Peter Potamus and Wally Gator. He also earned a lifetime of free breakfast cereal (at least I like to think that) when he provided the voices for both Cap'n Crunch and Snap of elf trio Snap, Crackle and Pop. For a time he held an actor's studio out of his home, where one of his students was none other than Nancy Cartwright.

8. Scatman Crothers

stacy9.jpgMy number one super guy used to be Hong Kong Phooey (sorry). His voice, Scatman Crothers, had a career that spanned many genres. One of his first voice-over jobs was with Disney as the appropriately-named Scat Cat in the Aristocats (not to be confused with The Aristocrats). He then jumped to Hanna-Barbera to provide the voice for Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters of Harlem Globetrotters and Scooby Doo fame. And although this is decidedly not a cartoon, I love the fact that Hong Kong Phooey was creepy Dick Hallorann in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.


9. Tress MacNeille

Another favorite of mine was Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. It came as quite a shock that Chip and Gadget were both voiced by the same person - Tress MacNeille. I looked her up and it turns out she voices about a million Simpsons characters. OK, so it's more like 17 (plus some minor characters). Those include Mrs. Skinner, Dr. Hibbert's wife, Apu's wife, the crazy cat lady, Lunchlady Doris and Plopper, the pig from The Simpsons Movie. She also voices multiple characters on Futurama, was Babs the Bunny on Tiny Toon Adventures and Dot on Animaniacs.

Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock
6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.


59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.


116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.


74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.


111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.


430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.


327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.


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