Foray is best known as the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel in the various “Rocky and Bullwinkle” series, Cindy Lou Who in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and Granny in the “Sylvester & Tweety” cartoons. But she voiced hundreds of other roles beyond those, working late into her life. She died on July 26, 2017, just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
In addition to her prolific voice acting career, Foray was also a key figure in the animation industry as a whole.
“June was not only the preeminent voice actress for decades during her astounding 80-plus-year career, she was also a founding member of ASIFA-Hollywood and the creative force behind the Annie Awards,” says ASIFA-Hollywood executive director Frank Gladstone. “A fearless and influential advocate for animation, she was also a fiercely independent voice for women in our industry at a time when speaking out was both risky and brave.”
ASIFA-Hollywood president and animation historian Jerry Beck echoes those praises. “June Foray will live forever via her memorable screen performances and vocal personas, but her work behind the scenes as an advocate for the animation arts will cement her legacy. She was a tireless champion for the artists, writers, directors and producers – for the entire field itself – back in the days when it wasn’t the powerhouse industry it is today. Her integral part in starting ASIFA-Hollywood and creating the Annie Awards, and her work as an Academy governor (in the shorts branch) to shine a spotlight on the art form – that was her greatest role and all of us in it today owe her a great debt.”
The collection up for auction includes a number of items amassed by Foray over her lengthy career, including art, drawings, cels, posters, photos and awards.
Some of the items up for bid include a hand-painted cel from 1959’s “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends” depicting Rocky the flying squirrel and villainess Natasha Fatale, both roles she voiced. Other cels from “Rocky and Bullwinkle” are signed by show co-creator Jay Ward and “Bullwinkle” voice actor Bill Scott. A number of other signed cels from the series are also available.
Other key animation items include a drawing entitled “June Foray Lunch” signed by artist and animator Chuck Jones, a 1962 cel setup from the Looney Tunes cartoon “The Jet Cage,” in which Foray voiced Granny, a 1954 production cel from the animated short “Bewitched Bunny,” which starred Foray as Witch Hazel, and a presentation cel from the “Some Enchanted Evening” episode of “The Simpsons,” which was supposed to be the first episode of the long-running series. Foray was given the cel for voicing the receptionist of the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service and for, technically, being the first guest voice to appear on the show, though that episode actually aired at the end of the first season.
In addition, there are production cels of the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who from the 1966 animated production of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Other items in the collection include Foray’s 1997 Annie Award, her 1982 Winsor McCay Award and her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star plaque.
The items up for auction can be viewed at the Heritage Auctions website, http://www.ha.com. The auction will take place on both June 16 and June 17, and will begin promptly at 1 p.m. on June 16.