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Sterling Price Holloway Jr. (January 14, 1905 – November 22, 1992) was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films and 40 television shows.
He was also a voice actor for The Walt Disney Company and appeared as the original voice of Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh's title character.
Holloway was born in Cedar Arzt, Georgia, and he was named after his father, Sterling Price Holloway (1864-1930), who, in turn, was named after a well-known Confederate general, Sterling "Pap" Price. Rebecca DeHaven Boothby (1879-1953), his mother, was a teenager (1879–1963). Boothby, his younger brother (1909-1978), was a student at the University of Oxford (1909-1978). The family owned a grocery store in Cedartown, where his father served as mayor in 1912. He moved from Georgia to New York City, where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1920. Spencer Tracy, whom he described as one of his favorite working colleagues, was befriended while at work.
Holloway performed in one-nighters throughout much of the American West in his late teens, before returning to New York, where he received small walk-on parts from the Theatre Guild and appeared in the Rodgers and Hart revue The Garrick Gaieties in the mid-1920s. In 1925, he performed "Manhattan" and the following year performed "Mountain Greenery."
In 1926, he moved to Hollywood to begin a film career that spanned almost 50 years. He almost always appeared in comedies due to his bushy red hair and foggy distinct voice. The Battling Kangaroo (1926), a silent film, was his first film. Holloway will appear with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Lon Chaney Jr., Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, and John Carradine over the next decade. Holloway enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 37 in 1942 and was sent to the Special Services. He helped create "Hey Rookie," a nine-month show that raised $350,000 for the Army Relief Fund. In the critically acclaimed film A Walk in the Sun, Holloway played a medic assigned to an infantry platoon in 1945. He appeared in five Gene Autry Westerns from 1946 to 1947.
In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Walt Disney originally considered Holloway for the voice of Sleepy, but instead, they went for Pinto Colvig. Holloway's voice in animated films began with Dumbo (1941), as the voice of Mr. Stork. Holloway was the voice of the adult Flower in Bambi (1942), the narrator of the Antarctic penguin sequence in The Three Caballeros (1944) and the narrator of Make Mine Music's (1946) narrator. In Alice in Wonderland (1951), he was the voice of the Cheshire Cat (1951), Susie the Little Blue Bird (1952), and Goliath II (1960) - the snake in The Jungle Book (1967); and Roquefort in The Aristocats (1970). He is perhaps best remembered as the voice of Winnie the Pooh in Disney's Winnie the Pooh featurettes from 1977 to 1977. In 1991, he was named as a Disney Legend, becoming the first individual to be honoured in the voice category. Hobe Carpenter, a friendly moonshiner who assists Harley Thomas (David Carradine) in Thunder and Lightning (1977), was his last role. Following Jim Cummings' death, the majority of his roles were inherited.
Holloway appeared on many radio shows, including The Railroad Hour, The United States Steel Hour, Suspense, and The Shadow. He may have appeared on NBC's "Fibber McGee and Molly" in the late 1940s. His voice had a touch of Southern drawl but was instantly recognisable. Holloway was selected to narrate many children's albums, including Uncle Remus Stories (Decca), Mother Goose Rhymes (Disneyland Records), Walt Disney Presents Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories (Disneyland Records), and Peter And The Wolf (RCA Victor).
Holloway's radio to television conversion was made with ease. He appeared on "Uncle Oscar," an eccentric narrator, and appeared on The Life of Riley as "Uncle Oscar," an esthetic entrepreneur, and played a regular role on The Adventures of Superman. In the 1950s, he appeared on Fred Waring's CBS television show as a hot air balloonist, and he appeared on Circus Boy as a hot air balloonist. Five Fingers (The Temple of the Swing Doll), The Untouchables, The Hazel Village, "The Binx"), Hazel, Pete and Gladys, The Twilight Zone ("What's in the Box"), The Brothers Brannagan, Peter Gunn, F Troop, and Moonlighting are among his performances on which he appeared. Holloway performed commercial voice-overs for Purina Puppy Chow dog food and performed their common jingle, "Puppy Chow/Till he's full grown" during the 1970s. In numerous 1970s and 1980s United States Forest Service commercials, he was also a spokesperson for Woodsy Owl. In 1982, he auditioned for the well-known comic book character Garfield but lost to Lorenzo Music. He did voice-over duties for Libby's baked beans in 1984.