Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23: America's Slowest Rising Comedian

Fans of classic TV will recognize this actor-comedian for his role of Private Duke Slater on the 1960s Jim Neighbors sitcom Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. In case you don't ... his name is Ronnie Schell and he was born on this day in 1931 in Richmond, California.

Often referring to himself as "America's slowest-rising comic," Schell's Disney credits go back to the 1975 live-action comedy The Strongest Man in the World (in which he played a referee). In the midst of guest appearing on just about every 1970s sitcom, he was also cast in the Disney films Gus, The Shaggy D.A., and The Cat from Outer Space (as both the voice of Jake the cat and a character named Sgt. Duffy). During that decade he also appeared on episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color and starred in the made-for-TV-movie The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World.

Schell also provided voices for the 1987 DuckTales and the 1997 animated series Recess, and in 2004 appeared on an episode of Disney Channel's Phil of the Future (playing a 75-year-old Phil).

Still active, Schell continues to make use of his gifts as a voice artist on TV, radio, films and commercials.

Click HERE for much more December 23 Disney history.

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