Janet Waldo

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Janet Waldo
Janet Waldo in 2013
Janet Waldo
Born(1924-02-04) February 4, 1924 (age 89)
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
OccupationActress and voice artist
Years active1938–present
Spouse(s)Robert Edwin Lee
(1948–1994, his death),
Two children
 
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Janet Waldo
Janet Waldo in 2013
Janet Waldo
Born(1924-02-04) February 4, 1924 (age 89)
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
OccupationActress and voice artist
Years active1938–present
Spouse(s)Robert Edwin Lee
(1948–1994, his death),
Two children

Janet Waldo (born February 4, 1924)[1] is an American actress and voice artist with a career encompassing radio, television, animation and live-action films. She is best known in animation for voicing Judy Jetson, Penelope Pitstop and Josie McCoy in Josie and the Pussycats. She was equally famed for radio's Meet Corliss Archer, a title role with which she was so identified that she was drawn into the comic book adaptation.

Early life[edit]

Waldo's mother was a singer trained at the Boston Conservatory of Music, and her father was a descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Her sister, Elisabeth Waldo, is a leading authority on pre-Columbian music and an award-winning composer-violinist who appeared in the film Song of Mexico (1945).[2]

Growing up, Janet Waldo had a love of acting and the theatre from an early age and performed in plays at her church. She attended the University of Washington, where her performance in a student theatrical garnered her an award and brought her to the attention of Bing Crosby. A Paramount Pictures talent scout, who was with Crosby at the time, signed Waldo for a screen test, which led to a contract with the studio.[3]

Radio, films and TV[edit]

Al Feldstein, later the editor of Mad, was a writer-illustrator of the Meet Corliss Archer comic book. Waldo was depicted on the front cover twice, as herself and as Corliss.

Waldo appeared in several dozen films in uncredited bit parts and small roles, although she was the leading lady in three Westerns, two of them starring Tim Holt. Her big break came in radio with a part on Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theater. In her radio career, she lent her voice to many programs, including Edward G. Robinson's Big Town, The Eddie Bracken Show, Favorite Story, Four-Star Playhouse, The Gallant Heart, One Man's Family, Sears Radio Theater and Stars over Hollywood. She co-starred with Jimmy Lydon in the CBS situation comedy Young Love (1949–50), and she had recurring roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (as teenager Emmy Lou), The Red Skelton Show and People Are Funny.

However, it was her eight-year run starring as teenager Corliss Archer on CBS's Meet Corliss Archer that left a lasting impression, even though Shirley Temple starred in the film adaptations, Kiss and Tell and A Kiss for Corliss. The radio program was the CBS answer to NBC's popular A Date with Judy. Despite the long run of Meet Corliss Archer, less than 24 episodes are known to exist. Waldo later turned down the offer to portray Corliss in a television adaptation.[3]

In 1948 the Meet Corliss Archer comic book, using Waldo's likeness, published by Fox Feature Syndicate, appeared for a run of three issues from March to July 1948, using the original scripts.[4] The same year, Waldo married playwright Robert Edwin Lee, the writing partner of Jerome Lawrence. The couple had two children, and remained married until his death in 1994.

Waldo made a rare on-screen television appearance when she appeared as Peggy, a teen smitten with Ricky Ricardo on a 1952 episode of I Love Lucy titled "The Young Fans" with Richard Crenna. Ten years later, Waldo again worked with Lucille Ball, this time playing Lucy Carmichael's sister, Marge, on The Lucy Show. That episode was titlted "Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit". She also appeared on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show as Amanda. In addition, Waldo reprised the role of Emmy Lou for some early TV episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Later, she was the female lead opposite Anthony Franciosa in the short-lived sitcom Valentine's Day (1964).

Animation[edit]

In television animation, she provided the voice of Judy Jetson in all versions of the Hanna-Barbera television cartoon The Jetsons. Waldo is the last surviving main cast member of The Jetsons series.

Waldo also provided voices for Nancy in Shazzan, Granny Sweet in The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show, Josie in Josie and the Pussycats, Penelope Pitstop in both, Wacky Races and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and guest-starred in Thundarr the Barbarian as the witch, Circe in the episode, Island of The Body Snatchers. Further guest starring roles, include Beth Crane, a descendant of Ichabod Crane, in the episode The Headless Horseman of Halloween, from the The Scooby-Doo Show in 1976. In 1977, she provided the lead guest voice in the episode titled To Switch a Witch which paid a somewhat out of left field homage to the witches of Salem.

She and Gary Owens are the only surviving cast members of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. She did the voices of Morticia Addams in the short-lived 1973 cartoon series adaptation of The Addams Family. She was also the voice of Princess in Battle of the Planets and Hogatha on The Smurfs.

Later life[edit]

In 1990, shortly after completing her role as Judy Jetson in Jetsons: The Movie, she was abruptly replaced with pop star Tiffany. It had been an executive Universal/RCA Victor decision, which made the casting director of the film Andrea Romano, who called it "a huge mistake on so many levels", ask for her name to be removed from the credit list so as to avoid getting hate mail, which she eventually did receive. The voice director Gordon Hunt had even asked Tiffany to try to make her voice sound more like Waldo's.

Janet Waldo was heartbroken and confused as to why after she had made promotional appearances for the film, they would replace her with the singer, whose voice register is very different from her own. Ultimately, the actress did patch things up with Hanna-Barbera and continued acting on their television series. The movie version of The Jetsons was a box-office flop and a critical failure with most of the negative reviews directed at Tiffany's acting and the replacement of the original voice of Judy Jetson. [3] The film even ended up on Siskel and Ebert's "Worst of 1990" list.

In 1998, Waldo guest-starred as Mrs. Tobbis on an episode of King of the Hill and later, reprised her role as Penelope Pitstop on The Wacky Races video game.

She currently provides the voice for the character Joanne Allen in Focus on the Family's weekly Adventures in Odyssey, a radio drama series heard on more than 1,600 radio stations throughout North America. She can also be heard many times a day as Grandmother in the fourth scene of Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World. Recently, she was interviewed about her career for the documentary I Know That Voice.

Filmography[edit]

Radio, films, live-action and voice over television roles[edit]

Radio
Original Air DateProgramEpisodeRole
1941Big TownVarious
1941-1943The Lux Radio TheatreMultiple radio adaptationsVarious
1941-1945One Man's FamilyIrene Franklin
1942, 1948Dr. Christian2 episodesNurse Judy Price
March 3, 1943 and March 31, 1943Mayor of the TownAdditional voices
1943The Charlotte Greenwood ShowBarbara Barton
1943-1945Cavalcade of AmericaAdditional voices
June 29, 1944The Dinah Shore ProgramVarious
1944-1945Lady Of The Press - Sandra MartinSandra Martin
1944-1954The Adventures of Ozzie and HarrietEmmy Lou
1944The Gallant HeartJennifer Lake
1945-1947The Eddie Bracken ShowEddie's girlfriend
1945Major Bowes' Shower Of StarsJanet
1946Request Performance"Abbott/Costello"Janet
1946-1956Meet Corliss ArcherCorliss Archer
1946-1948Favorite StoryVarious
1947The Fabulous Dr. TweedyMary Potts
The Camel Screen Guild Theatre"The Secret Heart"Girl
The Great Gildersleeve8 episodesJoanne Piper
1948The Mel Torme ShowMel's girlfriend
Family Theatre2 episodesVarious
1949Screen Directors Playhouse"The Exile" and "The Best Years Of Our Lives"Katie and Peggy Stephenson
Errand Of Mercy"Help For A Fighter"Girl
Philco Radio TimeDennis Day's Date
1949-1950Young LoveJanet
1950The Halls of IvyAdditional voices
1951My Favorite HusbandGirl
1951-1953The Railroad HourVarious
1954Stars Over Hollywood"Miss Nettie"Lovely woman
1958-1964Heartbeat TheatreMultiple episodesVarious
1961Whispering StreetsNarrator
1973The Hollywood Radio TheaterMultiple episodesVarious
1975CBS Radio Mystery TheaterMultiple episodesVarious
1979-1980Sears Radio TheaterMultiple episodesVarious characters
1979Alien Wrolds"The Keeper Of Eight"Various
1992-2012Adventures in OdysseyJoanne Allen, Maureen Hodges
Film
YearFilmRoleNotes
1938Cocoanut GroveGirlUncredited
Hunted ManBit PartUncredited
Sing You SinnersBit PartUncredited
The Arkansas TravelerTownsgirlUncredited
Tom Sawyer, DetectiveRuth Phelps
ZazaSimone
1939DisbarredBit PartUncredited
Paris HoneymoonVillage girlUncredited
Person in HidingRuth Waldron
Cafe SocietyGirlUncredited
I'm from Missourihat check girlUncredited
UnmarriedSecretaryUncredited
Undercover DoctorBridesmaidUncredited
The Gracie Allen Murder CaseCigarette girlUncredited
Grand Jury Secretshat check girlUncredited
The Star MakerStella
Honeymoon in BaliFortune Girl's CompanionUncredited
What a LifeGwen
All Women Have SecretsDoris
Our Neighbours - The CartersReceptionistUncredited
1940Parole FixerSwitchboard OperatorUncredited
The Farmer's DaughterSwitchboard OperatorUncredited
Adventure in DiamondsTelephone OperatorUncredited
If I Had My WayMiss CourtneyUncredited
Waterloo BridgeElsa
The Way Of All Fleshhat check girlUncredited
One Man's LawJoyce Logan
Those Were the Days!Miss WillowboughyUncredited
Rhythm on the RiverWestlake's ReceptionistUncredited
1941So Ends Our NightJacquelineUncredited
Silver StallionJanice Walton
The Bandit TrailEllen Grant
1942Land of the Open RangeMary Cook
1966The Man Called FlintstoneRoberta
Nurse #2
Nurse #3
Animated feature-length film
1972A Christmas StoryAdditional voicesTelevision film
1978Fantastic PlanetAdditional voicesEnglish dub
1982Heidi's SongTinetteAnimated
1987The Jetsons Meet the FlintstonesJudy Jetson
Cogswell's Female Computer
Animated
Alice Through the Looking GlassAliceAnimated
1990The Jetsons: The MovieRobot secretaryAnimated
1993Once Upon a ForestEdgar's MomAnimated
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1952I Love LucyPeggy Dawson"The Young Fans"
1953-1965The Adventures of Ozzie and HarrietJanetSeries Regular
1955The Phil Silvers ShowHazel"The Eating Contest" (uncredited)
1958The Huckleberry Hound ShowAdditional voices
1962-1963The JetsonsJudy JetsonSeries Regular
1962Saints and SinnersMarion Simmons"Daddy's Girl"
1962-1966The FlintstonesPearl Slaghoople
Pebbles Flintstone as an adult
Additional voices
1963The Lucy ShowMarge"Lucy's Sister Pays a Visit"
The Andy Griffith ShowAmanda"A Wife For Andy"
1964Jonny QuestAirport P.A.
Stewardess
"The Riddle of the Gold"
1964-1965Valentine's DayLibby FreemanSeries Regular
1965Please Don't Eat the DaisiesMiss Reece"It's Lad by a Nose"
The Secret Squirrel ShowAdditional voices
Get SmartTelephone Operator"All in the Mind"
1966The F.B.I.Arlene Morgan"The Baby Sitter"
Petticoat JunctionViolet Bentley"Young Love"
Alice in Wonderland (or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?)AliceTV Movie
The Adventures of SuperboyLana Lang
Laurel and HardyAdditional voices
1966-1967The Space KidettesJennieSeries Regular
1967The Fantastic FourPrincess Pearla"The Micro World of Dr. Doom"
Abbott & Costello CartoonAdditional voices
1967-1968The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel ShowGranny SweetPrecious Pupp segment
1967-1969ShazzanNancySeries Regular
1968The New Adventures of Huckleberry FinnAnointed Maiden of the Sacrifice2 episodes
Sally SargentSally SargentTV Short
1968-1970Wacky RacesPenelope PitstopSeries Regular
1969-1971The Perils of Penelope PitstopPenelope PitstopSeries Regular
1970JuliaMrs, Appleton"Call Me by My Rightful Number"
1970-1971Josie and the PussycatsJosie McCoySeries Regular
1971Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch!Pipsqueak The Mouse"Love Bug Bungle"
1972The Amazing Chan and the Chan ClanAdditional voices
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer SpaceJosie McCoySeries Regular
1972-1973Around the World in 80 DaysBelinda MazeSeries Regular
1973The New Scooby Doo MoviesGrandmama Addams/Josie McCoy"Wednesday is Missing" and "The Haunted Showboat"
Speed BuggyAdditional voices
The Addams Family (1973 animated series)Morticia Addams
Grandmama
Series Regular
1973-1974Inch High, Private EyeAdditional voices
1973-1975JeannieMrs. AndersSeries Regular
1974Hong Kong PhooeyThe Mayor's Wife"Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakery Man"
1975The Tiny TreeLittle Girl
Lady Bird
TV short
1976JabberjawThe Queen of Atlantis"Atlantis, Get Lost"
1976-1978The Scooby-Doo ShowLisa Vanhoff
Beth Crane
Melissa Wilcox
3 episodes
1977CB BearsAdditional voices
1978-1985Battle of the PlanetsPrincess
Susan
Mala
Series Regular
1979-1980Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-DooAdditional voices
1979Gulliver's TravelsAdditional voice charactersTV Movie
The New Fred and Barney ShowAdditional voices
1980Yogi's First ChristmasCindy BearTV movie
The Trouble with Miss SwitchMiss SwitchABC Weekend Special episode
1981Thundarr the BarbarianCirce"Island of the Body Snatchers"
Spider-Man and His Amazing FriendsShanna the She-Devil
Zerona
Additional voices
3 episodes
UnicoWest WindEnglish dub
Daniel BooneAdditional voicesTV Movie
1981-1989The SmurfsHogatha
1982Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas CaperMurray's Wife
Lady on the Street
Bus Deport PA voice
TV Movie
The Adventures of the Little PrinceDanya
Rose Girl
1982 English dub
1983Puppy's Further AdventuresTommy's Mother
Alvin and the ChipmunksStella
Unico Maho No ShimaWest WindEnglish dub
Beauty and The BeastBeauty
Jacqueline
Queen
Additional voices
TV Movie
The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo ShowAdditional voices
1983-1984The DukesAdditional voices
Rubik, the Amazing CubeAdditional voices
1983-1986Mr. TAdditional voices
1984Yogi's Treasure HuntCindy Bear
Little Red Ridding Hood
Witch
Gretel
2 episodes
1985-1987The JetsonsJudy Jetson
Additional voices
Series Regular
1988Rockin' with Judy JetsonJudy JetsonAlternative title: "Judy Jetson and the Rockers"
1989Dink, the Little DinosaurWoman Dinosaur
1990-1994Tom and Jerry KidsAdditional voices
1993I Yabba-Dabba Do!Pearl Slaghoople
Additional voices
TV Film
Hollyrock-a-Bye BabyPearl SlaghoopleTV Film
1993-1994Droopy, Master DetectiveAdditional voices
1998King of the HillMrs. Tobbis"Pretty, Pretty Dresses"

References[edit]

External links[edit]