Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The man behind the Duck

Mouseplanet.com posted this article about Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald.  Don's recent 80th birthday means he was "born" on June 9, 1934.
Donald Duck's 80th birthday was June 9, 2014, and there certainly wasn't a lot of hoopla about it. I believe the Disney Company released a pin. (Officially, for many years, the Disney Company maintained that Friday the 13th was Donald's birthday and, amazingly, this June there was a Friday the 13th).
The article is a short biography of Clarence Nash and how he became the voice of the irascible Duck.
One of the things I remember clearly was him telling me the gag, "My parents wanted me to be a doctor but they are still proud because I grew up to be the biggest quack in the world." I later learned it was a standard gag line he would use with some variations over the decades .
Clarence grew up on a farm and started doing animal sounds, which eventually led to getting hired by Disney to do the voice of the "talking duck".
"Donald lasted a lot longer than I thought he would," said Nash. "I figured he was just like any other cartoon character who would eventually run his course. It never occurred to me he would last over 50 years."
Disney's The Wise Little Hen was released on June 9, 1934, which is now considered Donald Duck's official birth date. Iwerks' The Little Red Hen was released February 16, 1934 as part of the ComiColor series and is rarely known or seen today.
 Clarence Nash was 80 years old when he died in 1985.
...Nash's tombstone in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California, is shared with his wife (who died in 1993) and has a carving of Donald and Daisy Duck holding hands.

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