5.24.2005

That's not Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

I just learned that at 91 years of age, Thurl Ravenscroft, known by many as the voice of Tony the Tiger, died on Sunday from prostate cancer.

I'd never heard his name before and yet he has been the voice of many of my favorite characters from Tony the Tiger, to the singer in Dr. Seus' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (incidentally, his name was left off the credits and so we've all been thinking that creator Boris Karloff did the singing as well - not so, at least according to this source), to Thing 1 in Seus' "The Cat in the Hat." More complete credits can be found here.

So much of our identity is linked to our names - having a loved one say your name can be quite powerful (and, as a very good friend of mine will attest, having a loved one forget your name can be quite painful - sorry!). I wonder what it is like to know that people love the voice of the characters you enliven and the sound of the songs you sing and, at the same time, to know that relatively few people know your name? Is it lonely?

Next time you hear a character voice you really like, take the time out to find out the name - and remember it. Don't love Jimminy Cricket, love the voice - Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards!

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