Voice of Tony the Tiger Dead at Age 91

Negotiator_Roger_Smith 05-24-2005 11:45 AM
The Associated Press
Published: May 24, 2005
FULLERTON—Thurl Ravenscroft, who provided the rumbling “They’re Grrrrreeeat!” for Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger and voiced a host of Disney characters, has died. He was 91.

Ravenscroft died Sunday of prostate cancer, said Diane Challis Davy, director of Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters.

For more than 50 years, Ravenscroft was the affable voice behind Tony the Tiger, TV’s popular cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

“I’m the only man in the world that has made a career with one word: Grrrrreeeat!” Ravenscroft told the Orange County Register in 1996. “When Kellogg’s brought up the idea of the tiger, they sent me a caricature of Tony to see if I could create something for them. After messing around for some time I came up with the `Grrrrreeeat!’ roar, and that’s how it’s been since then.”

He also narrated the summertime Pageant of the Masters 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.

“Disneyland wouldn’t have been, and wouldn’t be, the same without him,” the park’s former president, Jack Lindquist, told the Register. “It’s all part of the experience. You can’t go home with a ride, but you can go home with a memory, and part of that is the audio—the sound part of it. His voice was one of the things that made it all come alive.”

Ravenscroft also did voices for the films “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” “Mary Poppins,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Lady and the Tramp” and many others.

“To me, he was one of the true voices of Disney that were recognizably Disney, and there weren’t many of them,” said Kevin Rafferty, a senior show writer and director for Disney Imagineering.

Born Feb. 6, 1914, in Norfolk, Neb., Ravenscroft moved to 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.

In 1952, Ravenscroft’s voice appeared in the first Frosted Flakes commercial.

Ravenscroft is survived by two children and four grandchildren. June, his
wife of 53 years, died in 1999 at age 80.

god bless the man! he will be missed!
Gato Gurl914 05-24-2005 02:14 PM
i love frosted flakes....;_;
Tony Waynewrong 05-24-2005 02:27 PM
Bummer! I really digged the dude's voice! Oh well, rest in peace!
BethMcBeth 05-24-2005 02:34 PM
AWwwwwwwwww!!!! That is so sad! His vocie was Grrrrrreat! and as always may he rest in peace.

Iam guessing that they may get a new voice actor? Poor guy.

Lady Tesser 05-24-2005 02:48 PM
I'm surprised they neglected to mention he also did the singing in the animated "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

"You're a foul one
Mr. Grinch ... "

Anyway, a salute to the man who was the voice behind several cultural icons to generations of children. *salutes*
Zopwx2 05-24-2005 04:53 PM


Not Kirby the vacuum cleaner from the brave little toaster.
Delirious 05-24-2005 09:31 PM
Wow! I had no idea he was 91! He had such a great voice. RIP Frown
Ace of Spades 05-24-2005 10:32 PM
Thats it..... Earth is over.