The Gummi Bears
The Voices Behind Zummi Gummi and Grammi Gummi
Master ventriloquist, veteran television star, and a respected inventor of
medical equipment, Paul Winchell provides the voice for Zummi Gummi, the
amateur Merlin of the Gummi group and keeper of the nearly forgotten magic
of the Gummies. Unfortunately, Zummi's not all that expert with Gummi magic,
and he gets awfully nervous and flustered when under any kind of pressure.
Born in 1922 in New York, Winchell overcame a childhood bout with polio
and made his show business debut at 13 as a winner on radio's popular "Amateur
Hour." By his early 20s, he was the star of his own radio show.
His television debut came in 1947 on an early variety series, "Show
Business, Inc." A year later, he starred in his own "The Bigelow
Show." With the exception of Edgar Bergen, Winchell was the most popular
ventriloquist of the 1950s, providing entertainment to audiences of all
ages with the help of his bow-tied, wise-cracking dummy Jerry Mahoney, the
dim-witted Knucklehead Smith, and others.
His television career included "The Paul Winchell/Jerry Mahoney Show"
(1950-54), "Circus Time" (1957-58), and the quiz show "Keep
Talking" (1958-60), on which Winchell appeared as a panelist. By the
1960s, he was devoting most of his time to doing voices for children's cartoons,
including "The Smurfs," "Goober and the Ghostchasers,"
and several Dr. Seuss specials.
At age 35, Winchell gave it all up to pursue a medical career and earned
a doctorate in science from Columbia University. In 1975, he made international
headlines for his invention of the first artificial heart.
June Foray is the voice that launched a thousand characters. She has been
heard as Rocky, the Flying Squirrel; the notorious spy Natasha Fatale; Tweety
Pie's Grandma; Ma Beagle in Disney's "DuckTales"; and Jokey in
"The Smurfs," as well as hundreds of others.
For "Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears," Foray displays her
considerable talents as the voice of Grammi Gummi, the official tastemistress
of Gummiberry Juice, and the worst -- and only -- cook in Gummi Glen. Grammi
is as tough as the cookies she bakes, but her decisions and actions always
spring from good intentions.
Theatrically trained, Foray didn't plan to specialize in voices, but after
working with comedian/satirist Stan Freberg on some comedy records, she
found herself in demand. For Disney, she provided several voices for "Cinderella"
and "Peter Pan," as well as for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
She has also worked with such noted animators as Jay Ward, Chuck Jones,
Tex Avery, and Friz Freleng, lending her voice to hundreds of cartoons and
animated television series, specials, and commercials.
Although Foray continues her phenomenal vocal acting career in radio, television,
and film, she has found the time to become a published writer, and has written,
produced, and narrated an animated short film, "You Can't Teach an Old
Dog New Tricks," which was presented on HBO.
She is currently serving her fifth term on the Board of Governors of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is also Chairperson of the
Academy's Student Film Awards. Foray is a past faculty member at USC and
is on the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.