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{ Cast & Crew: Frank Welker }

Frank Welker (Toby/Felicia)

Franklin W. Welker (March 12, 1946 ) is an American actor born in Denver, Colorado. In his early life, Welker moved to California and attended the Santa Monica City College, majoring in theatrical arts. He began his acting career with on-camera roles in 1969. He played Rutgers in an Elvis Presley film titled The Trouble With Girls and appeared in two Disney films (The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and Now You See Him, Now You Don't) before landing his first voice acting role as Fred Jones in Hanna-Barbera's "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?"

Welker continued with a few on-screen appearances in TV shows, but animation studios were seeing his talent through his wide vocal range. He had the ability to mimic animal sounds both wild and domestic, and this proved worthy for many popular shows at the time. Welker appeared in more Hanna-Barbera shows such as "Super Friends," "Hong Kong Phooey," and "Jabberjaw" along with other series featuring the Scooby-Doo Mystery Gang. For every new version (excluding "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo"), Welker always reprised his role as Fred Jones.

The 1980's brought in a new collection of animated shows with Welker in almost all of them. It was a busy time for the actor, voicing multiple characters in hit shows like, "Transformers," "The Smurfs," "Inspector Gadget," "The Real Ghostbusters," "Muppet Babies," and "G.I. Joe." The soon-to-be-dubbed 'voice god' was not strictly set to working in animation. Being a decade of some of the most bizarre creations in the fantasy/science fiction world, Welker produced snarls, cackles, snorts, hisses, and growls for a variety of monsters/mythical creatures in live action films and TV specials. These include: "Faeries" (starring Captain Hook voice actor Hans Conreid), Gremlins, TerrorVision, and Steven Spielberg's Cat's Eye

By the end of the eighties, Welker had voiced for hundreds of characters for several different animation studios. In 1990, Spielberg brought him back to Amblin to voice more characters in "Tiny Toon Adventures," followed by "Animaniacs" in 1993. Welker accepted all of the wacky character roles while remaining occupied at Disney for both their animated features (The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin) and afternoon programs ("DuckTales," "Goof Troop," and "Bonkers").

As the 2000's rolled around, the characters Welker had initially voiced for were returning in newer incarnations for the small and big screen. After forty years of voicing for talking/non-talking animals, fairy tale creatures, humans, monsters, robots, toons, and other fictional beings, Welker had become the most popular and sought-out actor in the industry, putting his name in the number one spot on the ""All Time Top 100 Stars at the Box office" list.

Photo of Frank Welker is courtesy of About.com - Animated TV

Awards/Accolades:

  • Nominated in 1994 for an Annie Award in the category Best Achievement for Voice Acting for: "Animaniacs" (1993).

    Other sources include IMDB.com and Wikipedia, and the Frank Welker Filmography.

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