April 29, 1935
|Died||June 28, 2006 (aged 71)|
|Cause of death||Stroke|
|Other names||Lenny Weinrib, Leonard Weinrib, Len Weinrib|
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor, comedian, writer|
Lennie Weinrib (April 29, 1935 - June 28, 2006), also known as Lenny Weinrib, Leonard Weinrib, and Len Weinrib, was an American actor, voice actor, comedian and writer. He is best known for playing the title role in the children's television show H.R. Pufnstuf, the title role in Inch High, Private Eye, the original voice of Scrappy-Doo on Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, Hunk and Prince Lotor on Voltron, and Bigmouth on The Smurfs. He also was the voice for Timer in the "Time for Timer" ABC public service announcements in the early 1970s.
A native of the Bronx, Weinrib got his start in show business working with Spike Jones, then later in The Billy Barnes Revue. He made guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Burke's Law, The Munsters, Happy Days and Adam-12. He charted nationally (Music Vendor, #132) with the comedy single "Prez Conference" in 1962. He also guest starred in an Emergency! episode called "Firehouse Four" as Fred Gibson, an overweight, accident-prone man. Woody Allen's character in his 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite was named "Lenny Weinrib."
He was most notable for his voice acting work. Starting with The Jetsons, Weinrib provided numerous voices for such animated series as Inch High, Private Eye, The New Adventures of Batman, Tarzan and the Super 7, and Hong Kong Phooey. He was the voice for both Roland and Ratfink in that series of cartoon shorts. He also provided the voice of Timer in the 1970s "Time for Timer" series of educational spots shown on the ABC network. In Voltron: Defender of the Universe, he voiced both Hunk and the villain Prince Lotor in the "Lion Voltron series", as well as Captain Newley and Cliff in the "Vehicle Voltron" series. He also voiced a secretary bird and a king lion in the animated sequence of the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Another Disney role Weinrib voiced was an evil sorcerer named Zorlok for an episode of Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears. He also voices the school bully Lenny Warthog on the NBC series Kissyfur.
He also lent his voice to Superman in 1970 for a Sesame Street sketch of a lecture about words beginning with "S" which happened to be the character's favorite letter of the Alphabet. Weinrib again voiced the Man of Steel, and his alter-ego Clark Kent, for a 1972 episode of The Brady Kids, "Cindy's Super Friend".
Weinrib voiced Davey Jones' uncle Sedgwick, Shaggy's great-uncle Nathaniel, and Redbeard on The New Scooby-Doo Movies and Cap'n Noah Smitty in Yogi's Ark Lark. He also voiced Scrappy-Doo in the original Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo TV series before Don Messick took over the role.
He voiced the title role in H.R. Pufnstuf throughout the show's entire run from 1969 through 1971, and also wrote every episode of the series. He also appeared as H.R. Pufnstuf as a guest on The Dating Game in Christmas 1972 and on one episode of the TV show CHiPs in 1977. On The Krofft Supershow he played the title character in Magic Mongo.
He did the voices for Moonrock and Sergeant Boulder on The Flintstone Comedy Show. In 1986, he was the original voice of Freddy Flintstone on The Flintstone Kids, before Scott Menville replaced him the following season. In 1991, he voiced Max the Mole on the all-star Hanna-Barbera animated series Yo Yogi!.
Weinrib appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show three times, each time playing a similar character, a loud, over-the-top, insult-type comedian. This character was named "Jackie Brewster" ("Buddy Can You Spare a Job", 1961), "Danny Brewster" ("The Sam Pomerantz Scandals", 1963), and "Phil Franklin" ("The Impractical Joke", 1965).
He also appeared on single episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ("Winky Blintz" in "The Off-Broadway Affair", 1966) Happy Days ("Duke" in "Ritchie's Cup Runneth Over", 1974), and on two episodes of Adam-12 in 1973 and 1974 as a police garage mechanic. He guest starred in a 1974 episode of Emergency! called "Firehouse Four" as Fred Gibson.
Weinrib's directing career consists of three feature films, all in the beach party genre: Beach Ball for Paramount in 1965, and Wild Wild Winter and Out of Sight, both for Universal in 1966. Weinrib also co-wrote the 1963 joke book The Elephant Book.
Weinrib retired from acting in the 1990s and moved to Santiago, Chile.
For the Family Guy episode "Petarded", Seth MacFarlane explained on the Season 4 DVD commentary he wanted to use Weinrib to voice Timer for a cutaway gag, but Weinrib was suffering from failing health when "Petarded" was being produced, and as MacFarlane explained, he "didn't remember doing it" after the recorded audio was played back for him later. In the end, Timer was voiced by Seth himself and Weinrib died about a year after "Petarded" first aired.
Weinrib's elder daughter Linda Weinrib and grandchildren Lauren Bendik and Steven Bendik are voice actors. His younger daughter Heidi Weinrib has performed as part of the ensemble cast of Rojo de Chile, a Chilean talent competition broadcast by Television Nacional de Chile. His youngest daughter Grace Weinrib is an artist and also lives in Santiago, Chile as does their mother Sonia.