Daws Butler

Daws Butler


11/16/1916, Toledo, Ohio, USA



Birth Name

Charles Dawson Butler


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Daws Butler was one of the original cartoon voice actors along with his good friend Don Messick. Daws was one of the first voice actors for cartoons in the 1940's. Much of his earliest work can be found in cartoons associated with MGM as well as Walter Lantz.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Another of Daws' favorite roles was Elroy Jetson from the cartoon, The Jetsons, because he said it was therapeutic to do the part of an 8 year old boy.

    • Daws originally did the voices for both Fred and Barney in the pilot short called The Flagstones which was never aired and was changed to The Flintstones with different people doing the voices.

    • The Jay Ward cartoon, Fractured Fairy Tales, was one of Daws' favorite shows to work on due to the witty humor and story lines.

    • Daws worked on a radio program with Stan Freberg called That's Rich! along with two other gentlemen who were or would be distinguished in the art of animation voice work - Alan Reed and Hans Conried.

    • Daws and Stan Freberg worked together on a popular live puppet show called Time for Beany and it is said that Albert Einstein never missed an episode and that he once adjourned a vital meeting of members of the scientific community and announced, "Pardon me, gentlemen, but it's Time for Beany!"

    • Although Daws did voice work in some of the Warner Brothers cartoons, starting with Gift Wrapped, but was never given credit. Only Mel Blanc was ever given credit because it was in his contract.

    • The only Disney movie that Daws lent his voice to was Mary Poppins when he voiced an animated penguin and turtle.

    • Daws was such a good voice actor that the famous Mel Blanc called him his "only rival".

    • Daws won 2 Emmy Awards with Stan Freberg while they did the puppet show, Time for Beany.

    • Jay Ward was the person who suggested the voice that Daws should use for Cap'n Crunch.

    • Daws tried to get a job with Warner Brothers in the 1940's but was continuously told that Mel Blanc does everything in the cartoons, however his persistance paid off with a referral to Johnny Burton and Tex Avery who gave him his first big break in cartoons.

    • When Daws graduated high school, he and two people he had met performing formed a three man team. Since they did impressions of popular radio personalities of the day and none of the three were over 5'2", they called themselves The Three Short Waves.

    • Daws was shy when he was younger and to break the shyness he forced himself to perform in front of an audience and would do impressions of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rudy Vallee, and the audience favorite of a Model T Ford cranking on a cold morning.

    • Daws originally wanted to be a cartoonist.

    • Daws won the Winsor McCay Award in 1984.

    • Daws is buried in Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery.

    • Greg Burson took over most of the roles that Daws had been doing. He had studied under Daws.

    • When Mel Blanc was recovering from an automobile accident, Daws stepped in to do the voice of Barney Rubble on The Flintstones for a few episodes.

    • Daws got the inspiration for a lot of his voices from famous actors of the day such as Art Carney for Yogi Bear, Phil Silvers for Hokey Wolf, and Bert Lahr for Snagglepuss. His wife's family's neighbor was the inspiration for Huckleberry Hound.

    • Daws did the voice for Cap'n Crunch from the 1960's to the 1980's.

    • Daws and good friend, Don Messick, did most all the voices one the first Hanna Barbara cartoon for television called Ruff and Reddy.

    • Daws was on the short lived radio program The Stan Freberg Show with Stan Freberg and the now famous June Foray.

    • Daws and Stan Freberg collaborated to make a record called St. George and the Dragon-Net and it became the first comedy album to sell over a million copies.

    • The first job Daws had was doing the voice of Snap of the trio Snap, Crackle, & Pop of Kellogg's Rice Krispies.

    • Daws wife was Myrtis and they had three sons - David, Don, and Charles.

    • It was on Daws' recommendation that Don Messick help do the voice of Droopy in the MGM Tex Avery cartoons that got Don's big break in voice acting.

    • Daws met future lifelong friend, Don Messick, while working on radio in Los Angeles, CA.

    • Daws was 5'2" feet tall.

    • Daws was a member of the Navy during World War 2.

    • Daws was a mentor and a friend to Nancy Cartwright.

  • Quotes

    • Daws: Mel Blanc was the only guy to get credit on those Warner Brothers cartoons we all did, but I was the only one to get my name on cereal ads.

    • Don Messick: Once, Daws and I were waiting to be seated at a restaurant. When the hostess led the patron before us towards a table, we heard the man give out with a bad Snagglepuss impression - "Exit, stage left into the dining room" - unaware the real Snagglepuss was standing behind him. Daws turned to me and, in the bona fide voice intoned, "Heavens to Trademark Violations! I'm being plagiarized!"

    • Daws: Maybe it was because I was so short, but I was extremely, almost fatally introverted. I was always the kid in the back of the crowd, never at the center, and because I was short, I couldn't see or be seen. So I started to make some noise, doing voices, doing impressions of movie stars and our teachers. The kids loved it - especially the girls - and I suddenly had status and stature.

    • Daws: Like everyone at the time, I used to listen to the radio I loved the voices, the stories, the sheer creative energy, but for years, it never occurred to me to become an actor. It all made me want to become a writer or a cartoonist and create my own stories.

    • Daws: You have your hardware and your software. You have the machine to do it and then you need the stuff inside to put into it. The hardware is your lips, your tongue, your chest, all the ways you get the voice projected. The software is in your head and that's where your material comes from. That's what makes it work.

    • Daws Butler: What I ended up doing, the voicing, is all I ever wanted to do. I never really hungered to be on camera or to be recognized in public. I don't see the point in it. That's flattery. The amazing thing is that once in a while somebody recognizes something in the timbre of my voice and says, "Are you Daws Butler?" That's nice that they like my work, but I really like being withdrawn and anonymous.

    • Daws: I want you to understand the words. I want you to taste the words. I want you to love the words. Because the words are important. But they're only words. You leave them on the paper and you take the thoughts and put them into your mind and then you as an actor recreate them, as if the thoughts had suddenly just occurred to you.