Pinto Colvig

Pinto Colvig was initiated into show business on the carnival circuit via his talent for playing the clarinet and his ability to ham it up while doing so. In the off-time from attending Oregon State University (then known as Oregon Agricultural College), Pinto would perform in the circus and in vaudeville. It was at school that his second career as a cartoonist first blossomed, in the college newspaper. He moved his family to Hollywood in the early 1920s and found work with Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios as an animator. This turned into acting and writing work as well. In 1928, he met fellow cartoonist Walter Lantz (later of "Woody Woodpecker" fame) and the two began collaborating. The lure of the larger animation studios was too great, however, and Pinto was hired on at Disney where he voiced such notable characters as Goofy, Pluto, and the dwarfs Grumpy and Sleepy. After a falling out with Walt Disney, he ventured on to Warner Brothers MGM (where he sang as a Munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz"), and the Max Fleischer Studio (where he voiced Bluto in the "Popeye" cartoons). He returned to freelance at Disney for many years and was also integral in developing the character of Bozo the Clown with producer Alan Livingston at Capital Records. He was the first actor to portray the clown on television. A longtime smoker, Colvig passed away from lung cancer at the age of 75 .