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Daws Butler

Charles Dawson "Daws" Butler (November 16, 1916 - May 18, 1988) was a voice actor, who played many famous cartoon characters, including Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

His road to stardom came in the mid '40s at MGM. Tex Avery hired Daws to provide narration work for several of his cartoons. In many cartoons there was a nameless Wolf who spoke in a southern accent and whistled all the time. Daws provided the voice for this Wolf. While at MGM, Avery wanted Daws to try and do the voice of Droopy Dog, a character that Bill Thompson regularly gave voice to. Daws did the voice for a few cartoons but then told Tex about Don Messick, a soon-to-be-legendary voice actor and Daws' life-long friend. After Messick got his foot in the door, like Daws, it was all uphill from there.

In 1949 Daws landed a role in a puppet show created by Warner Brothers cartoon director Bob Clampett called Time for Beany. 33-year-old Daws was teamed up with 23-year-old Stan Freberg and the two of them did all the voices for the puppet show and they wrote every script. Daws was "Beany Boy" and "Captain Huffenpuff". Stan was "Cecil" and "Dishonest John". An entire stable of recurring characters were seen... Daws and Stan did all the voices. Time for Beany ran from 1949 to 1954 and won several Emmy Awards.

Daws turned his attention to TV commercials. This didn't last very long because he soon giving the voice to many nameless Walter Lantz characters on the Woody Woodpecker program. Daws' notable character was the penguin "Chilly Willy" and his side-kick, the southern speaking dog. Also in the 1950s, Stan Freberg asked Daws to help him write comedy skits for his Capitol Records albums. Their first collaboration, "Saint George and the Dragonet", went Platinum by today's standards. Freberg was more of a satirist who did song parodies but the bulk of his 'talking' routines were co-written and co-starring Daws Butler. Stan's box-set, Tip of the Freberg on Rhino from 1999, chronicles every aspect of Stan's career except the cartoon voice-over work and it showcases his career with Daws Butler really well.

In 1957 Hanna-Barbera left MGM. Daws Butler and Don Messick were on-hand to provide voices. The first, Ruff and Reddy, set the formula for the rest of the series of cartoons that the two would helm until the mid 1960s.

It was in the 1957-1965 era that Daws gave voice to all of these popular characters.

Daws would voice most of those characters throughout the decades to come whenever they happened to appear on TV shows or in commercials. "Cap'n Crunch" became an icon of sorts on Saturday morning TV through many cereal commercials. Daws gave voice to the Cap'n from the 1960s to the 1980s. In the 1970s he became the voice of "Hair Bear" and a few characters in minor cartoons like C.B. Bears. On Wacky Races Daws was a few of the racers. On Laff-a-Lympics, Daws was virtually the entire 'Yogi Yahooey' team. Aside from the Jetsons, Daws remained low-key in the 1980s. In 1987 Hanna-Barbera released the movie The Jetsons meet the Flintstones and this would be the last time Daws Butler would be in studio with the likes of Don Messick, Mel Blanc, and others.

Daws Butler passed away in 1988 at the age of 71.

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