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October 8, 2015

Bill Melendez, animator and voice of Snoopy, dead at 91 - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 4th 2008 8:38AM
Bill MelendezWe have a TV Royalty category here at TV Squad, and if there's anyone who worked in television and deserved the honor it's Bill Melendez.

Melendez was an animator for Walt Disney Studios in the 1930 and 40s, working on such classic movies as Fantasia and Pinocchio and Mickey Mouse shorts, then went on to make tons of movies, cartoons and commercials (he worked on many Bugs Bunny shorts and other famous cartoons) for well-known companies such as United Productions of America (where he was an animator on Gerald McBoing McBoing) and Playhouse Pictures. He then met Charles Schulz in 1959 and went on to animate (and often direct and produce) most of the Peanuts TV specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and many, many others. Many people don't know this but he was also the voice of both Snoopy and Woodstock (they didn't talk, of course, but he did all of the howls and other noises). He worked on TV versions of Cathy and Garfield too.

I've said this many times before here and I'll say it again: all of the great people who made our childhoods (and adulthoods) special are dying, and we're going to be left with a much lesser crowd of actors, directors, writers, and other famous people. Melendez isn't a person who I kept track of, of course, except when he would pop up in a documentary about animation. But when I saw that he had passed away yesterday (at age 91 in Santa Monica, CA), I actually let out an audible "awwww." I guess that was bound to happen to someone who thinks that A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the most perfect things (not just in the world of animation - I'm talking one of the most perfect things in the world). Just look at his IMDb page and look at the stuff he worked on. It's like a road map of 20th century pop culture.

The last TV project Melendez worked on was He's A Bully, Charlie Brown, from 2006. That was two years ago, when he was 89. Still working, producing, and doing the voice of Snoopy.

Here's an interview with Melendez from a couple of years ago. After you watch it click here for other parts of the interview (on the right).

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What in incredible career. I didn't know him, but I feel like I grew up with him nonetheless. It really is a time where the old guard is passing on, leaving the world a poorer place. Rest in peace Mr. Melendez.

September 04 2008 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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