Monday, June 27, 2011

Person of the Week: Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille
New York Daily News
Throughout her childhood, Tress MacNeille enjoyed impersonating people and manipulating her voice into as many different characters as she could think of. By the age of eight, she had decided that she wanted to be a “voice actor,” but thought perhaps a more practical career would probably be in order. Little did she know that she would soon become one of the biggest stars in the world—just one whose face we never see.

Miss MacNeille decided that working as a disc jockey would ultimately be more profitable for her than adding her voice to the animated shows she so loved, but while working in radio, she had an opportunity to records a series of advertisements and spots which gave her a chance to showcase her remarkable range of voices and her talent for mimicry.

After working with the famed The Groundlings comedy troupe, MacNeille further explored acting lessons and by 1979 had landed her first cartoon voice-over gig on Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo.

After doing numerous music video appearances, MacNeille was cast as the voice of “Babs Bunny” in Tiny Toon Adventures, a part that gave her the chance to demonstrate her versatility as an artist as well as her ability to impersonate some of the greatest voices of all time like Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn and Billie Burke.

“Babs” led to MacNeille being offered the role of “Dot,” sister to “Yakko and Wakko,” in Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs. From then on, the cartoon horizon was open to Miss MacNeille who has lent her vocal talents to every conceivable kind of animation. She’s most known for her roles on The Simpsons for which she voices Lindsey Naegle, Brandine Spuckler, and Agnes Skinner among many, many others. Miss MacNeille has starred in every episode of the program since 2001. A highly sought-after talent, MacNeille is also a regular cast member of Futurama, among other currently-running programs.

Interestingly enough, Tress MacNeille is also the official current voice of both Daisy Duck and Wilma Flintstone. Isn’t it amazing that this one person has given life and personality to so many characters which are embedded in our collective minds and culture, yet so few of us have ever seen her face?

And, so, for all she’s brought to the world of entertainment for these many years, Tress MacNeille is our “Person of the Week.”

1 comment:

Doni said...

Found myself thinking of the first *master*-- Mel Blanc.