Jimmy Weldon, voice of cartoon duck Yakky Doodle, dies aged 99

Jimmy Weldon, who famously voiced the cartoon duck Yakky Doodle created by animation studio Hanna-Barbera, has died aged 99.

In an obituary published on the site for funeral and memorial company Dignity Memorial, it confirmed that he died on July 6 2023, having been born on September 23 1923.

Weldon worked as a voice actor, a ventriloquist and a TV host throughout his career, which spanned from the 1940s.

Yakky Doodle appeared in the animated series The Yogi Bear Show, which first debuted in 1961 and aired 33 episodes until the following year.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Weldon’s death was also confirmed by American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, where he was chaplain emeritus.

Born Ivy Laverne Shinn in Dale, Texas, Weldon served in the US Army in the Second World War.

Embarking on a career in entertainment initially as a disc jockey at a radio station in his early 20s, Weldon first developed a duck character called Webster Webfoot while presenting on the show.

Following more radio success, Weldon transitioned to TV, and he eventually was hired to present a game show called Funny Boners, alongside Webster.

Weldon’s acclaim as Webster resulted in him being cast to perform the voice of Yakky Doodle.

As well as appearing in The Yogi Bear Show, Yakky Doodle also popped up in Fred Flinstone and Friends, Yogi Bear’s All Star Comedy Christmas Caper and Yogi’s Treasure Hunt.

Some more of Weldon’s roles included starring in episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dragnet, The Waltons, S.W.A.T., B.J. and the Bear, Dallas, The Rockford Files, Diff’rent Strokes and It’s a Living.

One tribute posted on Facebook read: ‘We lost a legend of the veteran community this week. Just shy of his 100th birthday, our friend Jimmy Weldon passed away.

‘I had the honor to work with Jimmy on several occasions and have forever been changed by those precious moments. He will be missed but his legacy will certainly live on.’

Another person wrote: ‘God Rest the Soul of Jimmy Weldon, know throughout our community for his love of our country, humor and kindness. You were and continue to be an inspiration and will long be remembered by all who knew you.’

Weldon married Muriel Jones in 1947. They were married until Jones’ death in 1988.

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