Lessons from Daws Butler

Book Passes on Cartoon Legend's Tricks of the Trade

Listen: Hear Daws Butler give a Hindu accent lesson.

Listen: Listen as Butler gives an Irish accent lesson.

Listen: Hear Butler as Huckleberry Hound.

Daws Butler poses with Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

Daws Butler poses with his buddies, Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. The Butler Family hide caption

itoggle caption The Butler Family
Butler and Joe Bevilacqua in 1976.

Butler and Joe Bevilacqua in 1976. The Butler Family hide caption

itoggle caption The Butler Family
Available Online

Voice actors are heard, but not seen. They are the people who breathe life into cartoon characters. The most famous was the late Mel Blanc, who provided the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and countless others.

Another great was Daws Butler, who died in 1988. He supplied voices for many characters in the Hanna-Barbera TV menagerie, including Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.

Butler also taught his craft to others through workshops and practice scripts for students. Now Joe Bevilacqua — a former student of Butler's — has teamed with radio historian Ben Ohmart to collect those scripts and publish them in a book: Scenes for Actors and Voices. It's a way for voice actors of the future to get tips from a master on what it takes to make cartoon characters more animated. NPR's Melissa Block, host of All Things Considered, talks with Bevilacqua about the new book and the craft of voicing animated characters.

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