Veteran character actor and distinctive voice artist Sterling Holloway, 87, died Nov. 22 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest.

Holloway often played rustics, hillbillies and simple types, and much of his on-screen work was during the 1930s. Later, he was a ubiquitous voice in Disney animated programs, starting with “Dumbo” in 1941, in which he was the voice of Stork.

The following year, Holloway provided the voice for Grown Up Flower in “Bambi ,” and in 1943, he was the voice of Professor Holloway in “The Three Caballeros.”

Other voice roles in Disney features were the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland,” Kaa the Snake in “The Jungle Book,” Roquefort in “The Aristocats” and Pooh in “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.”

He also narrated several Disney shorts including “The Pelican and the Snipe, “”Lambert, the Sheepish Lion,””Susie, The Little Blue Coupe,””The Little House, “”Ben and Me” and “Goliath II.” He was the narrator on the record and in the film segment of Disney’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

“Sterling just had a unique voice,” said Rick Dempsey, director of Disney animated voices. “It was a high-tenor, raspy voice unlike anything you heard. Walt Disney was really enamored with him.”

Holloway appeared on screen initially in “Casey at the Bat” in 1927, followed by “Elmer the Great,””Gold Diggers of 1933,””Dancing Lady,””Advice to the Lovelorn,””American Madness,””Hell Below,” 1933’s “Alice in Wonderland” (as the Frog), “Strictly Dynamite,””The Merry Widow,””Life Begins at Forty,””Doubting Thomas,””Maid of Salem,””The Woman I Love,””Varsity Show,””Of Human Hearts, “”Doctor Rhythm,””Professor Beware,””Remember the Night,””Spring Madness,””Nick Carter–Master Detective,””The Blue Bird,””Little Men,””Meet Joe Doe,””Cheers for Miss Bishop,””New Wine” and “Iceland,” all prior to World War II.

After the war, he resumed his on-screen work in 1946 with “A Walk in the Sun, “”Sioux City Sue,””The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend,””Shake, Rattle and Rock,””The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,””It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, “”Batman,””Live a Little Love a Little,” and “Thunder and Lightning” in 1977.

On TV, he appeared in “The Life of Riley,””The Baileys of Balboa” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Born on Jan. 14, 1905, in Cedartown, Ga., Holloway graduated from Georgia Military Academy and studied at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Theatre credits include “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Gaities.”

Survived by his adopted son Richard.

Funeral plans were not available at press time.

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