Biography Base Home
  Biography Base Home | Link To Us
Search Biographies:
Daws Butler Biography
Charles Dawson "Daws" Butler (November 16, 1916 - May 18, 1988) was a voice actor, who played many famous cartoon characters, including Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

His road to stardom came in the mid '40s at MGM. Tex Avery hired Butler to provide narration work for several of his cartoons. In many cartoons there was a nameless Wolf who spoke in a southern accent and whistled all the time. Butler provided the voice for this Wolf. While at MGM, Avery wanted Butler to try to do the voice of Droopy Dog, a character that Bill Thompson regularly gave voice to. Butler did the voice for a few cartoons but then told Avery about Don Messick, a soon-to-be-legendary voice actor and Butler's life-long friend. After Messick got his foot in the door, like Butler, it was all uphill from there.

In 1949 Butler landed a role in a puppet show created by Warner Brothers cartoon director Bob Clampett called Time for Beany. 33-year-old Butler was teamed up with 23-year-old Stan Freberg and the two of them did all the voices for the puppet show and they wrote every script. Butler was "Beany Boy" and "Captain Huffenpuff". Freberg was "Cecil" and "Dishonest John". An entire stable of recurring characters were seen... Butler and Freberg did all the voices. Time for Beany ran from 1949 to 1954 and won several Emmy Awards.

Butler turned his attention to TV commercials. This didn't last very long because he soon giving the voice to many nameless Walter Lantz characters on the Woody Woodpecker program. His notable character was the penguin "Chilly Willy" and his side-kick, the southern speaking dog. Also in the 1950s, Stan Freberg asked Butler to help him write comedy skits for his Capitol Records albums. Their first collaboration, "Saint George and the Dragonet", went Platinum by today's standards. Freberg was more of a satirist who did song parodies but the bulk of his 'talking' routines were co-written and co-starring Daws Butler. Freberg's box-set, Tip of the Freberg on Rhino from 1999, chronicles every aspect of Freberg's career except the cartoon voice-over work and it showcases his career with Daws Butler really well.

In 1957 Hanna-Barbera left MGM. Daws Butler and Don Messick were on-hand to provide voices. The first, Ruff and Reddy, set the formula for the rest of the series of cartoons that the two would helm until the mid 1960s.

It was in the 1957-1965 era that Daws Butler gave voice to all of these popular characters.

Reddy the dog
Huckleberry Hound
Yogi Bear
Quick-Draw McGraw
Baba Louie
Loopy De Loop
Dixie Mouse
Mr. Jinx
Super Snooper and Blabber Mouse
Fibber Fox
Aesop's Son (in the "Aesop and Son" segment of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show)
Augie Doggie
Hokey Wolf
Wally Gator
Alfie Gator
Peter Potamus
Lippy the Lion
Elroy Jetson
Henry Orbit
Captain Skyhook
among others
Butler would voice most of those characters throughout the decades to come whenever they happened to appear on TV shows or in commercials. "Cap'n Crunch" became an icon of sorts on Saturday morning TV through many cereal commercials. Butler gave voice to the Cap'n from the 1960s to the 1980s. In the 1970s he became the voice of "Hair Bear" and a few characters in minor cartoons like C.B. Bears. On Wacky Races Butler was a few of the racers. On Laff-a-Lympics, Butler was virtually the entire 'Yogi Yahooey' team. Aside from the Jetsons, Butler remained low-key in the 1980s. In 1987 Hanna-Barbera released the movie The Jetsons meet the Flintstones and this would be the last time Daws Butler would be in studio with the likes of Don Messick, Mel Blanc, and others.

Butler based many of his voices on popular celebrities of the day. Yogi Bear was essentially Art Carney (Butler had done a similar voice in several of Robert McKimson's pictures at Warner Bros). Hokey Wolf was inspired by Phil Silvers. When Mel Blanc was recovering at home from a motor-vehicle accident, Butler stepped in to do Barney Rubble--another rather Carney-esque voice--in four Flintstones episodes.

Daws Butler died in 1988 at the age of 71. Many of his roles were picked up by The Man of 1000 Voices, Tex Brashear, who had personally studied with Butler for years.
Daws Butler Resources
The Official Daws Butler Website
The official Daws Butler website run by Daws's protege, radio veteran, Joe Bevilacqua (
Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Daws Butler.