British Columbia --
Norma Macmillan, the voice of television's Casper the Friendly Ghost, Gumby and other animated characters, has died of a heart attack, her husband said yesterday.
She was 79.
Thor Arngrim said his wife of 47 years died Friday.
Macmillan entertained a generation of children by giving a voice to popular cartoon characters such as Casper, the mild-mannered ghost who refused to frighten children, and Sweet Polly Purebread of "The Underdog Show."
"She was an amazing talent because she was so versatile," Arngrim said by telephone. He also said his wife "never took herself too seriously," and she would gladly perform the Casper voice when asked by people in shops or on the street.
Born in Vancouver, Macmillan began her career as a stage actress and met Arngrim, a young producer. The couple moved to New York in the 1950s, and Macmillan landed the role as Casper's voice with Paramount Famous Studios.
Eventually they moved to Hollywood, where Macmillan became the voice of the bendable Gumby in the claymation series "The Gumby Show." Her work on Underdog paired Macmillan with Wally Cox, who provided the voice of the shoe-shining hero.
Among Macmillan's acting credits was the 1986 television movie "Mrs.Delafield Wants to Marry," with Katharine Hepburn, and numerous guest appearances and recurring roles on television shows.
She and Arngrim had two children - Alison, who played Nellie on television's "Little House on the Prairie" series, and Stefan, who was Barry Lockridge in the television series "Land of the Giants" and has appeared in television shows and films.
Page by Doreen Mulman. Newspaper scan and article supplied by Paul Rudoff.
casper.wav courtesy of The Daily Wav