Thurl Ravenscroft, who provided the rumbling “They’re Grrrrreeeat!” for Tony the Tiger in countless Kellogg’s ads and voiced a host of Disney characters died of prostrate cancer May 22 in Fullerton, Calif. He was 91.
Born in Norfork, Neb., he left Nebraska for California in 1933 to study art. By the mid-1930s he was appearing regularly on radio and by the late-1930s he was singing backup for Bing Crosby.
After military service during World War II, he returned to Hollywood, where he sang with the Mellomen, a group that performed with Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Elvis Presley.
For more than 50 years, Ravenscroft was the voice behind Tony the Tiger, the cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.
He also narrated the summertime Pageant of the Masters at Laguna Beach for 20 years and lent his voice to characters on thrill rides at Disneyland, including the Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion.
Ravenscroft also did voices for the animated films “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” “Mary Poppins,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Lady and the Tramp.”