Paul Winchell

Paul Winchell


New York City, New York, USA

Birth Name

Paul Wilchinsky



Also Known As

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Paul Winchell was anAmerican ventriloquist, voice actor, comedian, inventor, and humanitarian,and is best known as providing the voice of Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh series. He also did the voices for Dick Dastardly in Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Gargamel on The Smurfs, and Boomer…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Paul was interested and involved in technology right up to the time of his death. He created and maintained a personal website until 2004.

    • Because he was concerned about the starving people in Africa, Paul developed a method to cultivate tilapia fish in tribal villages and small communities. The fish thrives in brackish waters, which made it particularly well suited for sub-Saharan Africa. This idea was turned down, however, because of several obstacles it was considered unfeasible.

    • On August 12, 1951 at Akron Ohio, Paul and Jerry beat Ronald Reagan in the celebrity race at the Soap Box Derby. It's the only race that President Reagan ever lost.

    • Paul's occasional appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show made him known to a large national audience and helped spearhead his growth as an entertainer in demand.

    • To help himself through bouts of severe depression, Paul studied and wrote widely on theology.

    • Paul debuted on NBC in 1947 with The Paul Winchell-Jerry Mahoney Show, featuring a smart-mouthed puppet he had invented in his early teens. Paul had introduced the puppet, Jerry, in 1936 on radio's Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour, earning first prize.

    • Paul was severely abused by his mother when he was young and and this contributed to his horrendous relationships he had with all of his children, according to his daughter, April, as told on her website ( and book.

    • Paul did the voice for Tigger for the first time in 1968 for the Walt Disney Company's Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day which earned an Academy Award for best animated short.

    • Paul was a skilled voice-over artist for many Disney and Hanna-Barbera films.

    • Paul's idol growing up was the famous Edgar Bergen, a ventriloquist.

    • Paul did the voice of Shun Gon in the Disney movie, The Aristocats.

    • Paul was nominated for an Annie award for the animated feature Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin in 1997.

    • Paul formerly courted June Foray.

    • Paul died one day before John Fiedler who did the voice of Piglet in Winnie the Pooh.

    • Paul won a 17.8 million dollar lawsuit against Metromedia, Inc. after the company destroyed the tapes of his show, Winchell-Mahoney Time, in a dispute about syndication rights.

    • Paul was the voice of the "scrubbing bubbles" mascot for Dow Bathroom Cleaner which then became Scrubbing Bubbles when it was bought by S. C. Johnson.

    • Paul was named television's most versatile performer by Look magazine in 1952 and 1953.

    • Paul began his career on a radio program in 1948 called Original Amateur Hour created by Edward Bowes.

    • Paul has a star on The Walk of Fame at 6331 Hollywood Blvd.

    • Paul did the voice of Mr. Owl in the 1960's Tootsie Roll Pop commercial that is still being run on television to this day.

    • Paul's parents were Sol and Clara Wilchin.

    • Paul did Tigger's voice for 33 years until he retired from the role at the age of 76 with his last performance in the special Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving.

    • Paul published a book called Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit in 1954. He also published an autobiography called Winch.

    • Paul won a Grammy award in 1974 for Best Children's Recording for "The Most Wonderful Things About Tiggers" from the feature Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.

    • Paul's third wife, Jean, came up with Tigger's famous phrase "TTFN" or ta-ta-for-now.

    • Paul was an amateur inventor who patented an idea for an artificial heart. Paul's work on the artificial heart got him mentioned when the first one was used on a patient in Utah. Paul also has patents on several artificial organ development. Paul held patents on over 30 devices, but the one he failed to patent, and later regretted, became a big hit was the disposable razor. Friends of his mocked the idea so he gave it up.

    • Paul studied medicine at Acupuncture Research College, Los Angeles. He also worked as a medical hypnotist at the Gibbs Institute in Hollywood. He used his education to help his son Stacy after he underwent a tonsillectomy.

    • Paul attended Columbia University, New York City.

    • Paul suffered from Polio.

    • Paul stuttered when he was young and overcame it by learning to throw his voice with ventriloquism. Paul became such a well known ventriloquist, a couple of Paul's puppet side-kicks he used in his ventriloquist act, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, are now in the Smithsonian Institution.

    • Paul's daughter is the voice artist April Winchell. He also had a son named Stacy.

    • Paul was married 3 times and was the father of five children. He was married to Dottie Morse and they had Stephanie and Stacy. Then he married Nina Russel and they had April. Then he was married to Jean Freeman and they adopted Larry and Keith.

  • Quotes

    • Paul: On television, everyone talks and they don't care about the mechanics.

    • Paul: Children are so used to seeing puppets that when they see a real ventriloquist they don't understand it.

    • Paul: (speaking about the destruction of the taped recording by Metromedia of his show) The thing that was perhaps most painful to me was that in my best days, back in the '50s and '60s, it was all live. All the work I had done in the past, there was no record of it. Then finally I had the opportunity to do this taped thing [from 1964 to 1968], and I felt that at last, I'll have some remaining record of my work that future people could see, especially children. Suddenly I didn't have it anymore. It was gone forever.

    • Paul: Ventriloquism is closely related to magic. It's all about misdirection. You practice speaking from your diaphragm and low in your throat. You substitute letters for 'B' and 'P' that allow you to speak without moving your lips

    • Paul: Television and its use of computers can make everything talk, so there's no need for the art of ventriloquism anymore. I don't think young kids today would even understand it.