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Sterling

Dawn Wells and Sterling Holloway

Born January 4, 1905, Sterling Price Holloway, Jr. was an American character actor who appeared in over 100 films and 40 television shows, but he was best known as a voice actor for Walt Disney Company. He was born in Cedartown, Georgia, and named after his father, who was himself was named after a prominent Confederate general, Sterling "Pap" Price. The family owned a grocery store in Cedartown, where his father served as mayor in 1912. Sterling graduated from the Georgia Military Academy in 1920 and traveled to New York City, to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where he befriended actor Spencer Tracy, who became one of his best friends.
As an actor, Holloway toured with stock company of The Shepherd of the Hills, and performed in one-nighters across much of the American West before returning to New York to work in the Theatre Guild. A talented singer, he introduced "Manhattan" in 1925 and sang "Mountain Greenery" the following year. Moving to Hollywood in 1926, he begin a film career where his bushy red hair and high pitched voice placed him in a lot of comedies, such as "The Battling Kangaroo' in 1926. Holloway got to work alongside many of the top stars of the time, including Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Lon Chaney Jr, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby and David Carradine. He also enlisted in the United States Army during World War Two and worked in the USO. He was part of the show, "Hey Rookie", raised $350,000 for the Army Relief Fund. After the war, he appeared in "A Walk in the Sun" and played the comic sidekick in five Gene Autry Westerns. In the late Forties, he could be heard in various roles on NBC's radio program "Fibber McGee and Molly".
Beginning in 1941, Holloway's distinctive tenor voice began doing voice work in animated features for Walt Disney Productions. He voiced the stork in "Dumbo" in 1941 and was considered for the voice of Sleepy in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," but he is perhaps best remembered as the original voice of Walt Disney's "Winnie the Pooh." He was also the adult Flower in "Bambi," Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland," Kaa in "The Jungle Book" and "Roquefort" in The Aristocats. He continued to act in many radio programs, including The 'Railroad Hour," "The United States Steel Hour," "Suspense' and 'Lux Radio Theater." he was also was chosen to narrate many children's records, including 'Uncle Remus Stories" and "Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes" and "Rudyard Kipling's Just-So-Stories,' both from Disneyland Records.
Through the Fifties and the Sixties, Holloway worked steadily on TV in both serious and comedic roles in "The Adventures of Superman," "The Life of Riley," "The Untouchables," "The Real McCoys," "Hazel," "The Twilight Zone," "Gilligan's Island," "The Andy Griffith Show" and "F Troop" between movies. He appeared in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" as a flustered fire chief opposite Phil Silvers and Spencer Tracy. The movie also starred Jim Backus.
During the 1970s, Holloway did commercial voice-overs for Purina Puppy Chow dog food and sang their jingle. He also provided the voice for Woodsy Owl in informational ads through the Seventies and Eighties for the United States Foresty Service. In 1982, he auditioned for the well known comic book character Garfield but he lost the role to Lorenzo Music. His final role was in the movie, "Thunder and Lightning" in 1977. He passed away on November 22, 1992 of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital; survived by his adopted son, Richard. He had never married. He was replaced as Winnie The Pooh by actor Hal Smith from "The Andy Griffith Show."

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