Did you know the guy who gave the voice for Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger also sang the iconic Dr. Suess How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie song You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch song?
The man behind the voice was Thurl Ravenscroft. Thurl originally went uncredited unintentionally in the movie because there was a common misconception that it was Boris Karloff, the narrator of the film, who did the singing for the song.
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Suess) himself tried to rectify the error and wrote a letter to many journalists explaining the oversight and asking if they have mentioned the movie and song. They should give Ravenscroft his share of the credit. He also called Ravenscroft and also apologized for the error.
About Thurl Ravenscroft
Thurl Ravenscroft left his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1933 to move to California, where he studied at Otis Art Institute. He achieved some success early as being part of the singing group known as The Mellomen. The Mellomen can be heard on many famous recordings of the Big Band Era, including backup for Frankie Laine, Spike Jones, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, and Bing Crosby. The group also sang the song Honest John for the Disney movie named Pinocchio in 1940, though this song was deleted from the final edit of the film.
Ravenscroft was also the voice behind the character Monstro (the whale) in the movie Pinocchio. The Mellomen also contributed to other Dinsey movies such as Lady and the Tramp and Alice in Wonderland. The group appeared also appeared on camera for the Disney anthology television series.
During WWII, Ravenscroft also served a civilian navigator contracted to the United States Air Transport Command. He spent five years flying courier missions across the south and north Atlantic. Among the famous carried on board in his flights were Bop Hope and Winston Churchill. He once told in an interview that during WWI he got the opportunity to fly Winston Churchill and also flew Bob Hopes a couple of times. He further added doing that was so much fun.
After WWII, Ravenscroft sang bass on Rosemary Clooney’s “This Ole House”, which reached No.1 soundtrack in both the United States and Britain in 1954. He also sang a song for Ken Clark album South Pacific, it was one of the best-selling albums of the 1950s. He was also the bass singer of Bobby vee hit record Devil or Angel back in the 1960s. Ravenscroft was also the narrator for the annual Pageant of the Master’s art show at the California Festival of the Arts.
Ravenscroft was married to June Seamans, and the couple had 2 children. June died in 1999 from natural causes. Ravenscroft retired and did not work with any other studio, but he continued to give his voice to Tony the Tiger till 2004. He died in his home on 22nd May 2005 because of prostate cancer. He was buried at the Memorial Gardens in the Garden Grove in California.