Nancy Cartwright Chats with Andrea Romano -- Part 1
AR: Well, I liked being on that side of the business. I always had a very practical side that came from my mom of having a job that was somewhat secure and being an actress, regardless of how wonderfully talented you might be, when you finish the gig you are as unemployed as any guy on the street. That was sort of instilled in me at an early age and I thought, "What if I take a job that actually has a salary and an insurance plan and paid vacation that kind of makes me feel a little more confident?" so I took the job and I was the youngest franchised agent in Los Angeles. I just fell into it really well; I liked selling actors as opposed to selling Weekly Reader or TV Guide.
AR: I did, and, of course, back then we were working on reel-to-reel! Tells you how old I am! We would do auditions in the office as most agencies do now too. After I left Abrams-Rubaloff, I went over to an agency called Special Artists, a small boutique agency without even a voice-over department yet. I started their voice-over department and ended up with maybe 100 clients by the time I gotten the department up and running. I would direct all the auditions and that was a chance for me to really get my artistic-side going as well as my business-side. Not only would I audition them, I would do the physical editing with a razor blade and reel-to-reel tape. I wasn't there long and I used to go to some recording sessions at HB because there is no bigger fan of cartoons than I am -- a huge fan since I was child and HB's were my favorites. Every once in a while when one of my clients would be working I would ask can I come sit in on the session and Ginny McSwain, who was the casting director at the time said sure. I met the great Gordon Hunt and I watched some of the recording sessions. I saw a series record called Lucky Luke that was never aired in the United States. It was recorded in English then went to France and was dubbed in French. A huge success over there. The reason I bring this up is the one person I met on that series that was recorded here was Paul Ruebens, a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman, which is so cool because I just worked with him last week and I was reminding him that I used to go to those sessions.
After a couple of months or so Ginny McSwain called me one day and said she was moving on to direct at Marvel and asked if I was interested in auditioning there for the casting director and that I should talk to Gordon Hunt. Absolutely! Gordon and I had a 15 minute meeting and he offered me the job right on the spot.
I went over to HB which was truly the joy of my life. They were doing a bunch of the old HB classics and Daws Butler (who was as tall as I) walked in. Could he have been a sweeter human being? More generous, kind, talented? No. The only reason Daws wasn't as well known as Mel Blanc was that Mel had a publicist. Daws didn't and he had equally as much talent if not more. I'm not saying anything negative about Mel. Mel was stunning, but Daws Butler was remarkable.
Daws walked in and as I shook his hand I said "Mr. Butler, I have to tell you that Huckleberry Hound was my favorite cartoon ever!" And he opened his mouth and spoke to me as Huckleberry Hound and my reaction was bizarre: I burst into tears. I just reverted into a five-year-old-kid in front of the TV in my Dr. Denton footy pajamas with a bowl of cereal thinking about this cartoon and how much this meant to me. My husband asked me not too long ago which my favorite cartoon was and I said Huckleberry Hound. He asked why and it took me a while to think about it and I thought because Huckleberry Hound talked to the camera. He looked and talked right to the camera and I thought he was specifically talking to me, Andrea Romano.