Frames of Time...
023_04 - Hokey Smokes!
June could easily be considered the "Queen" of animation voice artists. Her animated career began in the 1950s at Warners and Disney. She created many of her most famous characters during this time,including Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale for Jay Ward. Through the Sixties, she created numerous classic characters for the Jay Ward, Chuck Jones and others. June is still busy today; she recently did the voice of Mulan's Grandmother.
I met June for the first time at the San Diego Comic Con. She discovered my interest in animation and invited me to the ASIFA-Hollywood cel sale. During the 70s, the fund raising event was held in her backyard. It was quite a thrill to be in a famous voice actress' home surrounded by piles and boxes of animation art, as well as equally well-known folks ranging from fellow voice actors (like Bill Scott and Gary Owens), animators (Bill Littlejohn and Woolie Reitherman) and writers (Ray Bradbury).
Years later, I became involved with ASIFA-Hollywood as an editor of their newsletter. Once again I found myself at June's home for a variety of functions. No matter the reason for being at her home, June was always the perfect hostess. She always found a way to move the business talk into just plain friendly conversation. She was one of the joys that made ASIFA-Hollywood important to animation folk around the world. When Bill Scott passed the reins of the organization on to others, June also moved out of the main stream. However, she was always there to support the group as a guest speaker or simply to lend her name to a key event.
Over my years in the animation business, I kept bumping into June. Sometimes at a screening, sometimes at an event, sometimes just being at the same place at the same time. It always meant an impromptu chat about things going on in the business and in general. Sadly, as years went by, the talk frequently was of folks we knew in the business that we had lost.
One time she met Rachel. Rachel had come with me to an animation event and June happened by. June stopped to chat and was able to discuss with Rachel the love June had had for her own Great Danes. June's Danes had passed on years earlier.
As is obvious, June has always been a wonderful person. If she were just that, it would be enough. But June has also been one of the great storytellers. Her tales of working in the animation business are filled with some of the most famous animation folk of all time. It was with pleasure that a few years ago she finally decided to begin writing a book. It will remind me of those days of hanging around her pool and just chatting.
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