Voice actor Joe Alaskey died February 3, 2016, at the age of 63. Reports indicate the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Grandpa Lou Pickles, Marvin the Martian and more, died from cancer.
Alaskey lent his voice to characters from many many TV series, including Rugrats and sequel All Grown Up, Loonatics Unleashed, and as Daffy Duck on Duck Dodgers, for which he won an Emmy in 2004. Alaskey also narrated the Investigation Discovery TV series, Murder Comes to Town.
Here is footage of Alaskey working on Murder Comes to Town.
Here is an older interview with Alaskey discussing some of his Looney Tunes roles.
Comic book and TV writer, Mark Evanier, knew Mr. Alaskey, and recalls him fondly on his blog, News From Me:
Joe was born in Troy, New York and like many impressionists, learned at any early age that one could overcome great shyness by becoming someone else. One of his best was Jackie Gleason and as he got older, he could not only sound like the man they called The Great One but look like him, as well. When Gleason’s voice needed to be replicated to fix the audio on the “lost” Honeymooners episodes, Joe was the man.
A few years after that, Joe was called upon to redub an old Honeymooners clip for a TV commercial. When he got the call, Joe assured the ad agency that if they needed him, he could also match the voice of Art Carney as Ed Norton. He was told they already had someone to do that — someone who did it better. Joe was miffed until he arrived at the recording session and discovered that the actor they felt could do a better job as Art Carney…was Art Carney. Joe later said that playing Kramden to Carney’s Norton was the greatest thrill of his life, especially after Carney asked him for some pointers on how to sound more like Ed. […]
After Mel was gone, Joe was one of several actors who played Bugs, Daffy and most of the others. On The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, he spoke for both Sylvester and Tweety. (His greatest challenge? I once watched Joe for a while as he recorded lines as Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam for a G.P.S. It tooks days and thousands of lines for each…and after he finished as Sam, he couldn’t speak for almost a week.) He also created the Daffy-like voice of Plucky Duck on Tiny Toon Adventures. […]
I was delighted to know Joe for many years, to have him on several of my Cartoon Voices panels at Comic-Con, and to work with him in 2014 on . Joe was temperamental and fiercely insecure at times, and you might hear of problems with directors and other actors. I can only tell you that when I hired him, he was an absolute professional. The only problem we had was that Joe had so many different voices that it was sometimes difficult to choose which one we wanted out of him.
You are invited to share your memories of Mr. Alaskey’s work, below.