Saturday 10 February 2024

Super Bowl Bear

Since it is the Super Bowl weekend (at least if you’re reading this at the time it was posted), let us look at the work of Carlo Vinci in Yogi Bear’s football opus. Rah Rah Bear (1959).

Here’s a graceful run cycle by Carlo. Yogi lopes across the football field, waving his arm and turning his head toward the crowd. 12 drawings. They are shot one frame apiece.



Here’s how the cycle looks slowed down. Background by Bob Gentle.



“It’s a touchdown!” yells the play-by-play announcer (Don Messick). Notice Yogi and the helicopter go in front of the goal posts.



It would have made a neat shot if they went between the posts (with the one in the foreground having to be put on a separate cel) but the chopper’s too big.

Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera explained to syndicated columnist Charles Witbeck how this cartoon came about:
“You know that Yogi and Huckleberry Hound don’t just belong to the kids,” Hanna continued. Grown-ups know about our animal friends.
“An example. In late November we had a special story on Yogi Bear and the Chicago Bears pro football team. When the Bears heard about it, they were delighted. George Halas, coach and owner, said we could do anything we wanted. “We first got the idea,” Barbera said, “when I saw a headline in late September on the sports pages. It went something like ‘Giants to Clobber Bears.’ I saw a football story with Yogi reading the headline and saying: ‘Us bears have got to stick together.’ So Yogi goes back and helps the burly bears win. It’s kinda cute.”
Barbera never let facts get in the way of one of his stories. The Giants never played the Bears in 1959. Or even 1958. However, the Chicago Cardinals under Jim Lee Howell opened their 1958 season on September 28th with a 37-7 home-field loss to the New York Giants. Considering the cartoon was on TV a little less than two months later, even with Hanna-Barbera’s hurried production schedule, it’s doubtful the cartoon could have been inspired so soon.

Before the era of theme parks, Hanna-Barbera’s star characters appeared in person—thanks to large costumes—starting around September 1958—at various places, including football stadiums. So it was that Honest Ed Justin booked “Yogi” to appear in Chicago at a game between the Bears and 49ers on November 15th (the Bears won, 14-3). Not coincidentally, Rah Rah Bear aired in Chicago ten days later.

Rah Rah Bear made another appearance—on record. In July 1961, Colpix released “Here Comes Huckleberry Hound” with “soundtracks” from four cartoons, including Rah Rah Bear. Huck was used as a narrator to link scenes and the original stock music from the cartoon isn’t heard.

Speaking of Yogi and football, one of the players on the 1960 Xavier University Musketeers in Cincinnati, Dick Buechler, was nicknamed Yogi Bear. It was because he was as fierce as a bear and had nothing to do with pic-a-nic baskets. (After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1963, Buechler was stationed at the air field of the Naval Auxiliary in Milton, Florida).

One other Yogi-football connection can be found in the pages of the Star News-Vanguard of Sept. 30, 1961, where the coach of Hamilton High used an offensive formation against the Culver City Centaurs called “Yogi Bear.” From what I can tell from the story, it involved throwing to the quarterback in the clear. The plan was tried several times and failed miserably.

Evidently head coach Frank Cullom was not smarter than the average bear.

Saturday 3 February 2024

Quick Draw McGraw on Blu-ray

Are we ever, EVER, going to see The Quick Draw McGraw Show on any kind of home video format?

I get asked that a lot.

Let’s hear from someone who should have an answer.

First, the background.

A wonderful man named Earl Kress had been hired to help get Hanna-Barbera’s early half-hours out on DVD. In 2005, the first season of The Huckleberry Hound Show was released. Earl had searched through the studio’s records, finding things he said they didn’t know they had. He found cue sheets, episode guides, footage lists for opening credits, even footage itself; all kinds of great things.

Unfortunately, Huck didn’t sell as well as was hoped. But Quick Draw was put on the list for release.

Then the project went nowhere.

At the time, Earl told readers of the Golden Age Cartoon forum that the half-hour shows were not intact that he could find (in colour, anyway), some of the bridges could not be found, and some of the footage was not in the best condition.

But the main problem was music rights.

When the Hanna-Barbera studio opened in 1957, the most inexpensive way to include background music in a film was to license a stock music library. Hanna-Barbera signed television deals for two very popular ones—the Langlois Filmusic library, “composed” by Jack Shaindlin, and the Capitol Hi-Q library, created in 1956 from the works of numerous composers, but updated by Capitol record every year. Ruff and Reddy cartoons used these libraries. So did three of the four seasons of The Huckleberry Hound Show and two of the three seasons of The Quick Draw McGraw Show. (Afterwards, Hoyt Curtin was hired by Hanna-Barbera to compose cartoon cues that belonged to the studio).

When the Huckleberry Hound DVD was released in 2005, Capitol still had rights to the stock music and a deal was struck to clear it for home video use. That soon changed. The music, as Earl explained, had reverted to the composers or their heirs, and trying to get it approved for DVD was thwarted by demands from two estates. He rather forlornly expressed the feeling the odds were against Quick Draw cartoons—at least the ones with the Shaindlin and Capitol music—ever being released on home video.

We’re getting close to 20 years later. There’s still no Quick Draw home video, excepting a small number of cartoons with Curtin’s cues on compilation discs.

Enter George Feltenstein.

Among animation fans, George is best-known for his years with the Warner Home Archive, overseeing releases of various Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes. Hanna-Barbera now falls under his company’s eye. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read a promotional puff piece about some H-B series or specials I think are really lame and yelled “What about Quick Draw!?!”

George has answered that question in an interview with music expert-turned-author Greg Ehrbar.

You can hear the full interview here. Here’s what Mr. F. told Greg.
“What we face with music clearance on television programming is pretty horrific. Thankfully, most Hanna-Barbera productions don’t have music clearance issues, thanks to the late, great Hoyt Curtin. His work-for-hire compositions that were so unforgettable, those are not a problem. It’s when something else was introduced from outside the bubble, that’s where things get complicated.

“Of course, the early years when they didn’t have work-for-hire compositions in the very, very early shows; for example, that’s why there’s no Ruff and Reddy DVD.

“Well, we would like to change that, and we’re now finding ways to make some of those things happen. You take everything a step at a time. I don’t give up easily. [...]

“I still will pursue the projects I would like to see. All four seasons of Huckleberry Hound. I would like to see Quick Draw McGraw. I’d like to see New Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. But, in the meantime, we have such a gold mine of treasures that are clear, that are ready for release, or that can be made ready for release, and that’s the direction we’re taking right now.”
So George’s attitude is “never say ‘never’.” But it’s more of a hope than anything else. There’s no indication from him anything has actually been done about Quick Draw (or Huck), or whether he has to convince management to agree to demands of the stock music rights holders (which was done for the Warner Bros.’ “Seely Six” cartoons from 1958) as the decision certainly wouldn’t be his alone. But those two fine series ARE on his wish list and he’s pledging to work to get them out. Just not now. For now, we can expect to see Blu-rays of cartoons from the ‘80s. Well, I guess someone likes them.

In the meantime, you’ll have to continue to enjoy Quick Draw McGraw bootlegs, as slightly murky and defaced with TV bugs as they are.

Incidentally, this should be a good year for early Hanna-Barbera fans when it comes to books. Greg has written Hanna-Barbera: The Recorded History. Greg certainly is the right person to write this, as he knows more about H-B Records, Colpix and the Golden Records that featured Hanna-Barbera characters than anyone I can think of. And there’s a bit on music used in the actual cartoons.

And Kevin Sandler and Tyler Williams have written Hanna and Barbera: Conversations, which should be out in May. I intend to talk to Kevin and post the interview here as we get closer to the publication date. When it comes to the early days of the studio, there are fewer and fewer people around to converse with. I had the great pleasure of chatting with layout man Jerry Eisenberg and writer Tony Benedict some time ago, as well as retired KFWB disc jockey Elliot Field, who provided voices for the studio in 1959 before moving to Detroit. I’m looking forward to both books.

Oh, and a fruitful conclusion to George Feltenstein’s idea to let us all see Quick Draw McGraw in his pristine glory.

By the way, George, if you’re reading and would like send me scans of Quick Draw cue sheets, I’ll happily accept them.

P.S.: People also ask me about the status of this blog. I honestly don’t have time to write a lot now. I’m on to other things in real life. However, I have put together a number of posts and there’ll be something once a month for the next number of months, the same as last year, but the blog is pretty much retired.

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Birthday Bear

The Yogi Bear Show wasn’t ready when it went on the air for the first time on this date in 1961.

The problem was simple. Hanna-Barbera didn’t have enough lead time to get the series together.

Kellogg’s and its ad agency, Leo Burnett, had worked out a deal with Hank Saperstein to have a half-hour syndicated slot filled with a new series starring Mr. Magoo, who had been appearing in short cartoons that UPA had been selling to individual stations. But then Saperstein called it off, not liking all the terms of the deal.

Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera quickly filled the breach, announcing on October 12, 1960 that Yogi Bear would be getting his own show. It seems that 3 ½ months wasn’t enough time to get the cartoons together; the company was extremely stretched, with The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw and Loopy de Loop in production. So Yakky Doodle did not appear on the first show (at least in some cities). Fans were treated to an Augie Doggie re-run instead.



Among the stations that aired Yogi on January 30, 1961 were KING-TV, Seattle; KMTV, Omaha; KTVU, Oakland; WBTV, Charlotte; WMCT-TV, Memphis; WDSU-TV, New Orleans; WGR-TV, Buffalo; WSB-TV, Atlanta; WNCT, Greenville, N.C.; WCPO-TV, Cincinnati; KTUL-TV, Tulsa; KRON-TV, San Francisco; WPIX, New York; WPRO-TV, Providence; KELO, Sioux Falls; KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City; KTVT, Fort Worth; KMBC-TV, Kansas City and KFSD, San Diego.

Yogi first appeared on The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1958, but surpassed the blue dog in the Hanna-Barbera star system. The same week his show debuted, he appeared in the Sunday comic section of newspapers across the U.S. And the company’s first feature film, eventually named “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear” for the star, made it to theatre screens in 1964. Huck was nowhere to be seen (the feature did include a snickering dog which I maintain was inspired by the bulldog in Tex Avery’s Bad Luck Blackie at MGM and later was turned into Muttley).

By 1961, Yogi was firmly entrenched as a denizen of Jellystone Park, with a permanent sidekick and an adversary. When he began in 1958, that wasn’t altogether the case; in fact, Ranger Smith was did not appear in the first season of the Huck show. Yogi was put into various plots, including spot gags as he tried to catch a trout (and failed), attempted to get across a freeway, dealt with an annoying duckling that later evolved into Yakky Doodle and matched wits with that fine dog that deserved stardom, Yowp.

Younger cartoon fans who have been raised on lord-knows-what are still exposed to the rhyming bear. Here is an article about the world’s largest Yogi. I take issue with one of the bullet points. I have never heard Yogi was “inspired by Smokey Bear.” His vocal qualities and costume bear (yuck, yuck, yuck) some similarities to Art Carney’s Ed Norton on The Honeymooners, but a similarly dressed character (silent) appears in Hanna and Barbera’s MGM short Down Beat Bear (1956).

And because someone will mention this if I don’t, the characters were re-worked several years ago in a streaming series.

You can read reviews of all the Yogi cartoons made between 1958 and 1962 on the blog, and more about his show in this post and this post.


Monday 1 January 2024

The Biggest Show in Town



One of the earliest public praises for The Huckleberry Hound Show came from the “Musing the Muses” column by Ms Jean Saxon in the Orange Leader of November 9, 1958. The series was available for viewers in Orange, Texas on KFDM-TV in Beaumont and KPLC-TV in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Her assessment was bang on and echoed other critics of the day.

I’ve been meaning to clue you in on a new cartoon series that is appearing on both Channel 6 and Channel 7 Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. The series is called “Huckleberry Hound” in honor of the hero.
Not since Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto ventured into the moves a quarter of a century ago has such a delightful company of characters been created. Huck’s playmates include Yogi Bear and his patient little friend, Boo Boo Bear; a cantankerous cat, Mrs. Jinks [sic]; and two mice, Dixie and Pixie. They were developed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, who produced and directed “Tom and Jerry,” which won the[m] seven Oscars.
On the short basis of one preview and one show, I predict that Huck and his pals will prove a hit in television not only among children but among adults and those of us in our second childhood. There is a sneaky kind of satire woven through the cartoons—watch for it to tickle your funny-bone.
Actually, it wasn’t her assessment. The last two paragraphs are mostly word-for-word what Larry Wolters wrote in the Chicago Tribune on September 29. Nothing like a little journalistic plagiarism.

The Leader occasionally gave a plot-line for what was likely the first cartoon of the three to air on the show that week. As you likely know, not every station got its own 16mm print, so they were “bicycled” to smaller stations. As an example, show K-005 with Pistol Packin’ Pirate aired on the two stations above on November 27, 1958. Other stations got their prints a month before that.

The drawing you see above is likely publicity art drawn from the time the show debuted. It and what you can see below are from the late Earl Kress’ files. It appears he photocopied some photocopies. Whether some are from colouring books or were drawn long after the show debuted, I don’t know. The drawing of Yogi on roller skates above is almost the same pose in the title card to The Runaway Bear (1959), one of a number of first-season cartoons without Boo Boo.

Below is a pose of Huck reminiscent of Lion Tamer Huck (1959). I don’t know of any cartoon involving Huck and a fish. The last picture of the gang is a favourite. Some time ago, Jim Engle inked and painted a version of it which you can find on this blog.

Denise Kress send me more art that Earl had in storage. The Yowp blog is retired but if I can make time, I’ll post some more, including a colour chart.


Friday 17 November 2023

A Few Hanna-Barbera Staff Pictures

There’s something pleasing about seeing pictures of the people who worked on the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Of course, publicity photos of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera have been around since their days at MGM. Cartoon histories/biographies come up with snapshots of some of the artists, writers and musical director Hoyt Curtin.

A few were published in an article on the studio in Hollywood Studio magazine’s issue of April 1967. I’m sure you’ve seen clearer copies of the photos of writers Tony Benedict and Warren Foster. But there are also pictures of two of the studio’s sound cutters which I don’t remember seeing before.

Greg Watson worked with Hanna and Barbera at MGM. He was the junior film editor under Jim Faris and moved over to H-B in 1957 (Warner Leighton was hired for the H-B sound department the same year). Watson, Hanna and Barbera brought some of the MGM cartoon sound effects with them; Fred MacAlpin was MGM’s original sound editor in 1937 and some of his effects can be heard in early H-B cartoons. Among Watson’s creations, according to a 1994 USA Today article, was the pitter-patter of Fred Flintstone’s feet while starting the Flintmobile. It was made by Watson pounding the palms of his hands on Hanna’s leather couch.

Also pictured is Don Douglas. Watson told Fred Seibert about him in 1995: “He most recently was working at Universal, and he created a thing by combining violin plucks, you know, pizzicato, and a couple of other sounds, and we called it ‘Pixie and Dixie Hop’.”

Watson has passed away. I don’t know about Douglas.

Though the article was written in 1967, the photos are several years old. You’ll notice the cinder block walls in the back of the sound cutting room. They’re from the second Hanna-Barbera studio in the windowless “bunker” studio at 3501 Cahuenga Blvd., down the street from where they constructed the studio familiar to fans.




I’m not going to re-post the article as it deals with mid ‘60s Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but you can read it at on this site.

Note: This is post 1,400 on Yowp. I can’t say it’s the last as I have things from Earl Kress I’d like to post but I can’t find the time to write. Posts on my other blogs were written months ago.

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Wilma

Jean Vander Pyl didn’t have a big name on television when she was cast to play Wilma Flintstone in 1960.

The others were a bit different. Bea Benaderet appeared on TV on Burns and Allen, continuing her Blanche Morton role from her radio days. Mel Blanc was known as Bugs Bunny and all kinds of Warner Bros. cartoon characters and periodically surfaced on camera on the Jack Benny show. Alan Reed had done odds and ends on the tube, but was not too many years removed from playing Falstaff Openshaw on Fred Allen’s radio show.

Vander Pyl had a number of supporting parts on network radio, starting with Jenipher Asbury on Scattergood Baines in 1937 while still attending UCLA. A 1948 article about her on the Ziv-transcribed My Favorite Story in 1948 mentions appearances on Amos ‘n’ Andy, The Aldrich Family, The Alan Young Show, The Dinah Shore Show, Dr. Christian, Sherlock Holmes, Cavalcade of America and with Fanny Brice. It skipped Lux Radio Theatre.

Her major regular role on radio was opposite Robert Young on Father Knows Best. Perhaps only Father knows why she was replaced by Jane Wyman when the show went to television.

Years after voicing Wilma Flintstone on 166 prime time episodes, and various spin-offs and specials (and in the 1966 feature film A Man Called Flintstone), she reflected back on her career in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The feature story ran on September 29, 1989.


Meet Jean Vander Pyl, the Real Voice Behind Wilma Flintstone
By ANDRE MOUCHARD
Fred was never the Cary Grant type.
He was into bowling and burgers, beer and boxing.
His idea of dressing up meant tossing on his lodge hat—the one with real animal fur.
Still, in spite of his Neanderthal habits, Wilma Flintstone wouldn't have had him any other way.
"I loved the bum. Sure, Fred was a Yahoo and I got mad at him all the time. But we really loved each other. Our romance was one of the things that made us so popular.
"We were real."
That's the word from Jean Vander Pyl, the "real" voice of Wilma and hundreds of other radio and TV cartoon characters.
Vander Pyl, a San Clemente resident, has been an actress for more than 50 years. Her career has covered several generations of radio and TV entertainment. She's had long-running roles on radio shows, including the part of Margaret Anderson on "Father Knows Best," and made regular appearances on radio shows such as "Fibber McGee and Molly." More recently she has had bit parts on such TV programs as "Murder, She Wrote" and "Hardcastle & McCormick."
But none of those jobs, Vander Pyl says, have matched the impact she made as the long-suffering wife of TV's No. 1 caveman. "The Flintstones" was television's first prime-time cartoon, running from 1960 through '66 on ABC, according to Joe Barbera, who produced the show with William Hanna. The show has been in syndication ever since.
"I wasn't ever what you would really call a ‘star,’ but I did have Wilma," Vander Pyl says. "Millions of people grew up with us as a big part of their lives. And millions more probably will."
Vander Pyl, 70, still signs notes "Love, Wilma" and keeps a great stockpile of Flintstone memorabilia in her beach-front apartment. Next year will mark "The Flintstones'” 30th birthday, and the show's producers, William Hanna and Joe Barbera, are contemplating a Flintstone revival, Barbera said in a telephone interview from his Hollywood office.
He says they are weighing a number of options—including a possible live-action Flintstone movie—but Vander Pyl is pushing for a remake of the cartoon.
"I think we would be more popular than ever," she says. "Every time I talk to somebody about a new Flintstones series, I get a great response. I think the people who grew up with ‘The Flintstones' still want to see us.
"And, of course, if we do it as a cartoon, I'd get to be Wilma all over again."
Vander Pyl, who also provided the voices for Rosie [sic] the Robot and Mrs. Spacely on another Hanna/Barbera cartoon, "The Jetsons," notes that there is a precedent for reviving an animated show.
Though "The Jetsons" ran for only one season—in 1963 [sic]—Vander Pyl claims the show's popularity has grown in syndication. "The kids have taken up ‘The Jetsons' like some kind of cult We've become the 'Star Trek' of cartoons." In the mid-1980s, Hanna/Barbera Productions called in Vander Pyl and the rest of "The Jetsons'” cast to make 42 new episodes, enough for about two TV seasons. Last year, they made a new Jetson movie, which is scheduled to be released next summer.
Barbera, who created both cartoons and directed most of the early Flintstone episodes, says it's likely "The Flintstones" will be revived "in some animated form" in 1990.
If it is, Vander Pyl will have a job, Barbera says.
"A great [cartoon] voice is something that when you close your eyes and listen, it immediately makes you chuckle. Also, it's got to work for people of all ages, not just kids," he says. "Jean had that voice when we cast her, and she still has it."
Vander Pyl's work as Wilma was a key element in the success of "The Flintstones," he adds.
"I know I'm going to get killed for saying this, but Wilma had a great 'housewife whine' to her voice. She commanded enough authority to run the house but kept an equal amount of warmth."
"Wilma is a communicator and a lot of women relate to that at least I know I do," Vander Pyl says. "I think there's a lot of me in Wilma, and even though she's just a cartoon, I think my voice is one of the things that made her so human."
Still, Vander Pyl says she never trained to be a "voice."
When she was graduated from Hollywood High in 1937, she had just won the Best Actress award in the citywide Shakespeare Festival for her portrayal of Juliet. Her next stop was supposed to be Broadway.
"I wanted to be a star in the theater, not radio," she says.
But after an illness interrupted her plans, Vander Pyl enrolled at UCLA and started working in radio. She promptly discovered that school and radio work didn't mix.
"My sorority sisters told me I had to either go to work or go to class," Vander Pyl says. "So I said 'Bye, girls.’”
That began a steady, if unspectacular career in radio, doing freelance voice work for a number of stations in Hollywood. She says her strong points were that she could play everything "from the ingenue to the villainess without complaining or screwing up."
"Radio was a notoriously anonymous profession. It was considered a second-class art," she says. "Agents wouldn't even bother with us until the networks started packaging the shows and bringing more money into it. So I lived without the burdens of stardom."
As TV came alive and radio fizzled in the mid-1950s, Vander Pyl was one of many voice performers to find work in the new medium.
"When radio died, the prognosis was that we radio actors would be out of work because all we did was use our voices," she says.
"But that was wrong. Most of us came from a theater background, and making the switch wasn't that big a deal. Then a few of us got lucky and got into cartoons."
The idea of making "The Flintstones," a cartoon that Barbera says was based loosely on the TV comedy "The Honeymooners," came after marketing experts discovered the audience for cartoons in the late '50s was more than 50% adults, Vander Pyl says.
According to Barbera, the prime-time cartoon immediately touched a nerve.
"We must have done something right because Fred got marriage proposals every week," he says.
Vander Pyl is the last surviving member of the show's original cast. Former radio star Alan Reed was the original Fred, Bea Benaderet played Betty Rubble and Mel Blanc was the voice of Fred's sidekick, Barney Rubble, as well as Dino the Dinosaur.
"Mel was a great actor," Vander Pyl said of the recently deceased Blanc. "He was so good he made everybody sit up and notice that people who did voice work were talented."
"The Flintstones" brought Van der Pyl a modicum of fame, as well as other cartoon and TV roles. But it didn’t make her rich.
Though the show has been in syndication for more than 20 years, Vander Pyl doesn't earn a penny on the reruns.
"I think The Flintstones' and 'I Love Lucy' sort of shocked the Screen Actors Guild," Vander Pyl says. "Nobody knew that TV shows would go on forever, so our old contracts didn't call for much in the way of residuals. That's why I'm not wealthy."
But with payments from other shows still coming in, and a small pension from the Screen Actors Guild, Vander Pyl, a widow, says she is comfortable. A mother of three with two grandchildren, she lives in a small, tidy apartment about a half-mile north of the San Clemente Pier, and an Amtrak railroad line is the only thing standing between her front porch and the ocean.
The serenity of her home has helped keep her desire for acting work down to a minimum.
"Two years ago, my commercial agent told me I needed some new photographs. But I sit here and look at the ocean and I still need the [new] pictures," she says. "At my age, I'm interested in working, but not in making the drive up to Los Angeles five times a week.
"Of course, I'd make the drive if it meant getting to be Wilma again. That wouldn't be such a pain at all."


You’ll likely be surprised to learn that syndicated writer Eve Starr claimed in her June 11, 1960 column that Hanna and Barbera were unhappy with the first of the five episodes completed, but scrapping it would cost $65,000. Barbera admitted in 1960 that five soundtracks with other male leads (Bill Thompson and Hal Smith as Fred and Barney) were dumped and the parts re-cast. (Each half-hour show took about four hours to record, reported Starr).

The Stone Age cartoon wasn’t Vander Pyl’s first work at Hanna-Barbera. When The Quick Draw McGraw Show was developed in 1959, Joe Barbera insisted on new voice talent. Elliot Field was hired (he was Blabber Mouse in four cartoons). So were Peter Leeds and Hal Smith. And Vander Pyl was signed, too, debuting as the Tallulah Bankhead-sounding Mrs. J. Evil Scientist on the Snooper and Blabber cartoon The Big Diaper Caper (Daws Butler’s first time as Blab).

Besides voicing cartoons, Vander Pyl had something in common with her fellow Flintstones cast members. They smoked. A lot. Her son Michael told the Associated Press “All of them ended up dying of smoking-related diseases. That cute laugh that Betty and Wilma did with their mouths closed? They came up with that because when they normally laughed, because they were smokers, they coughed.”

He also revealed before she became ill, Vander Pyl wanted to do a TV commercial as Wilma warning kids not to start smoking.

Lung cancer claimed Jean Vander Pyl on April 10, 1999 at age 79.