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R.I.P. Janet Waldo, classic cartoon voice actress

(Photo: Getty Images)

As confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, longtime voice actress Janet Waldo has died. She had reportedly been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 2011 and “had been bed-bound for many months.” She was 96.

Waldo was born in Washington in 1920, and she got her start as a professional actor after winning an award while performing as part of a theater group at the University Of Washington. This brought her to the attention of Bing Crosby, who got her signed to a contract with Paramount. Waldo appeared in small roles in a bunch of films, but she settled into her niche when she began doing voice work on the radio. She starred on CBS’s radio series Meet Corliss Archer for eight years, and popped up on The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet, Edward G. Robinson’s Big Town, and Cecil B. DeMille’s Lux Radio.


Eventually, Waldo moved on to voicing cartoons, and her résumé is stuffed with Hanna-Barbera classics (and non-Hanna-Barbera classics, specifically the anime hit Battle Of The Planets). Waldo played Josie on Josie And The Pusscats, Penelope Pitstop on Wacky Races, appeared on Thundarr The Barbarian, starred as Morticia on the Addams Family cartoon, and appeared on The Smurfs, The Scooby-Doo Show, and The Flintstones. Her most famous role, though, was playing George Jetson’s teenage daughter Judy on The Jetsons. Waldo, along with most of her Jetsons co-stars, returned for Jetsons: The Movie in 1990, but her lines were controversially redubbed by pop star Tiffany shortly before the film’s release—a decision that was generally regarded as being terrible.

More recently, Waldo guest-starred on an episode of King Of The Hill and reprised her role as Penelope Pitstop in a Wacky Races video game in 2000.

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