Actor and sound effects artist Ray Erlenborn, who was the voice of “Winnie the Pooh’s” Rabbit, died June 4 in West Hills, Calif. due to complications of a bacterial infection. He was 92.
Erlenborn started singing at the age of 3 and at age six he hit the vaudeville circuit with Hugo Hamlin’s Proteges. From there he segued to a Pantages vaudeville tour with Dodo Reid and Buddy Erlen. He starred in the “Winnie Winkle” silent comedies as Spike of the Rinkeydink Gang.
After his tour with Pantages, he began singing in radio and had a weekly show on KGFJ. He also sang in “Harold Teen” for Warner Bros. and “Cowboy Medicine Show” starring Roy Rogers at Republic.
In addition to the voice of Rabbit, he did animal voices for the 1967 “Doctor Dolittle” starring Rex Harrison and for the “Crusader Rabbit” cartoons.
He worked for CBS for many years, doing sound effects and laugh track dubbing for shows including “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “Sonny and Cher” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”
In 1977, he retired from CBS and appeared in dinner theater and civic light opera as Captain Andy in “Show Boat.”
He is survived by his wife, Meredith; a son; two daughters; 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.