MIGHTY MOUSE STAR DEAD

Published on: April 28, 2010
MIGHTY MOUSE STAR DEAD

ALLEN SWIFT who voiced Mighty Mouse, Underdog AND Howdy Doody gone at 87.

Swift was in the right place at the right time when puppeteer Bob Smith, the host of Howdy Doody and the voice of the wooden money maker, suffered a heart attack, in 1954.  Swift listened to tapes of Smith's voice and over  a single weekend mastered the Howdy voice.

The exposure on the 1950s kids hit led to Swift doing hundreds of commercials, recording as many as 30 commercials in a day from Jell-O to beer to dubbing the voice of David Niven in a movie when the Brit thesp was unavailable for a retake.

He also did Gen. Eisenhower's voice in epic war flick The Longest Day.

Toiling for Terrytoons, Swift did the voices of Mighty Mouse and assorted cat villains.  He also provided the sonorous tomes of Simon Bar Sinister and underling Riff Raff on Underdog and every single voice in the Tom & Jerry series from 1960 -62.

Other notable creds include all the fish thesping on Diver Dan and the film Mad Monster Party.

Born Ira Stadlen in Washington heights, NY he combined the name of two of his heroes - radio comedian Fred Allen and Gulliver's Travels author Jonathan Swift to become Allen Swift.

Swift, who was often compared to man of a thousand voices Mel Blanc, never complained about being one of the best-unknown actors on TV.

"I certainly like those residuals," Swift confessed in 1958.

"I'm perfectly willing to be the anonymous man of television."