Voice Actor Lennie "Pufnstuf" Weinrib Dies at 71
Created 06/29/2006 - 00:00
files/pictures/picture-35.jpgVoice actor Lennie Weinrib, whose most famed role was as the title character in the 1969 live-action series, H.R. PUFNSTUF (which he also co-wrote), died June 28, 2006, at his home in Chile. He was 71 years old.
For his animation career, Weinrib provided the voice for Scooby's impetuous nephew Scrappy-Doo in SCOOBY-DOO AND SCRAPPY-DOO (1979) and THE SCOOBY AND SCRAPPY-DOO PUPPY HOUR (1982). He was also in the voice cast of the first Scooby series, SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU! (1969) and THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES (1972).
Born in the Bronx on April 29, 1935, Weinrib was also a writer, producer and director. He got his start working with Spike Jones and later in the Billy Barnes revues.
Weinrib moved to Chile after marrying a Chilean woman and retiring from show business.
Weinrib first entered the world of cartoons as a voice actor on 1962's THE JETSONS. Additionally, he voiced both title characters in DePatie-Freleng Enterprises' 1968 series ROLAND AND RATTFINK, which also appeared in THE PINK PANTHER LAUGH AND THE HALF HOUR AND HALF SHOW (1976). He also created and wrote the 1970 DFE series DOCTOR DOLITTLE, in which he played Sam Scurvy.
His other roles in animated series included: the title voice in INCH HIGH, PRIVATE EYE (1971); Moonrock in THE PEBBLES AND BAMM-BAMM SHOW (1971) and THE FLINTSTONES COMEDY HOUR (1972); Stanley in THE AMAZING CHAN AND THE CHAN CLAN (1972); Gomez Addams in THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1973); Hi-Riser in WHEELIE AND THE CHOPPER BUNCH (1974); Commissioner Gordon, The Joker, The Penguin and Mr. Freeze in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN (1977); Rattle, The King and Yukayuka in THE C.B. BEARS (1977); Knock-Knock Woodpecker in THE SKATEBIRDS (1977); Dipper in SPACE-STARS (1981); Hunk and Lotor in VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE (1984); Charles and Lenny in KISSYFUR (1985); and Secret Squirrel in WAKE, RATTLE & ROLL (1990) and YO YOGI! (1991).
Weinrib was in the voice casts of HELP! IT'S THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH (1971), HONG KONG PHOOEY (1974), THE NEW TOM & JERRY SHOW (1975), JABBERJAW (1976), DYNOMUTT, DOG WONDER (1978), THE SMURFS (1981), THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW (1981), RAMBO (1986) and SABER RIDER AND THE STAR SHERIFFS (1987).
Weinrib voiced President John F. Kennedy in the hour-long 1970 NBC special UNCLE SAM MAGOO, UPA's last attempt to bring Mr. Magoo to primetime. He was in the 1970 Air Programs International special TALES OF WASHINGTON IRVING and The Count in 1971's THE POINT from Murakami-Wolf Prods. Other roles in animated TV specials were Timer in THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TRIP THROUGH LITTLE RED'S HEAD (1974) and Darzee the Tailorbird in RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI (1975).
From 1977 to 1978, he starred in Magic Mongo, a segment of the live-action The Krofft Supershow.
He had guest roles in numerous live-action TV series, including THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, PETER GUNN, DENNIS THE MENACE, THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, 77 SUNSET STRIP, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, THE MUNSTERS, BURKE'S LAW, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE, ADAM-12, HAPPY DAYS, THE WALTONS and CHIPS.
His theatrical voice work included Secretary Bird and King Leonidas in Disney's BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (1971) and Prince Abadaba in BUGS BUNNY'S 3RD MOVIE: 1001 RABBIT TALES (1982).
Weinrib directed the live-action movie musicals BEACH BALL (1965) and WILD, WILD WINTER and OUT OF SIGHT (both 1966).
"At some point in the 80s, Lennie got bored and unhappy with the industry," cartoon and comicbook historian Mark Evanier said. "A close, trusted associate cheated him out of more money than some of us will ever see. His mother became very ill and then died, and the stress got to him. Lennie spent the last few decades in Chile, staying in touch with his old friends by phone and Internet. We either spoke or e-mailed almost every day. I'm going to miss that a lot."
Lennie Weinrib is survived by his daughter Linda, who has done voice work in the English versions of anime series.