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Ex-WB Voice Actor Greg Burson Dies At 59

Voice actor Greg Burson, who once was the main replacement voice on Bugs Bunny and other characters voiced by Mel Blanc, died July 22 at age 59, according to THE BIG CARTOON FORUM.

His death was due to complications from diabetes and arteriosclerosis. However, "obviously, drinking had a lot to do with it," according to Mark Evanier, who directed Burson in three TV series.

Burson voiced Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe LePew, also voicing Mr. Magoo after Jim Backus died. And after Hanna-Barbera's Daws Butler died in 1988, Burson provided the voices of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss and Quick Draw McGraw.

But his career came to an end after a May 2004 arrest after barricading himself for six hours in his Tujunga, California home. SWAT teams brought the standoff to an end with Burson surrendering. Two female roommates had called police claiming he was holding a third female roommate against her will, but were all unharmed. Police discovered a collection of guns in the home.

Reportedly depressed over losing voice work, police at the time said, "He was so drunk, we couldn't tell if he was trying to do one of his voices or was just slurring his words."

Besides giving characters new life, Burson did announcing jobs for commercials, movie trailers and series promos.

"If I ever had the idea that drinking was something a person could just stop doing by choice, it was well-rebutted by watching him battle it," said Evanier. "It was a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle: He lost work because he drank... and that depressed him, so he drank more."

Burson, an Anaheim, California native, voiced Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew and Cupid in TINY TOON ADVENTURES, Bugs Bunny in THE BUGS N DAFFY SHOW, George Wilson in THE ALL-NEW DENNIS THE MENACE and Boo-Boo in YOGI & CO.

Other TV work included Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd in ANIMANIACS; Barry the Baboon in CATDOG; Attila in MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM; Huckleberry Hound, QuickDraw McGraw, Snagglepuss and Yogi Bear in WAKE, RATTLE & ROLL; and Yogi Bear in YO! YOGI.

Burson voiced Nemo's father and Flap in the 1990 film LITTLE NEMO: ADVENTURES IN SLUMBERLAND and the moving man in TOM AND JERRY: THE MOVIE (1993). In JURASSIC PARK (1993), he provided the voice of Mr. DNA.

"Yogi came pretty quickly to me," Burson once said of his characterizations. "But Bugs is much harder. To get Bugs right took me a year."