Jackson Beck

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Jackson Beck (July 23, 1912 in Manhattan, New York - July 28, 2004 in Manhattan) was an American actor best known as the voice of Bluto in the Famous era Popeye theatrical shorts, as well as in the made-for-tv shorts made in the 1960s. He also voiced Buzzy Crow for Famous Studios. His father, Max Blank, was a silent-film actor.

Beck had a career in radio, television, and animation dating from 1931 with Myrt and Marge, among other roles.

In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's Superman; it was Beck who intoned the famous prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." Decades later, he portrayed Perry White, Clark Kent's boss in Filmation's The New Adventures of Superman animated series and was narrator as well. He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942-1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948-1950, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

In 1969, Beck used his deep, dramatic, modulated voice as the narrator of Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. Three years earlier, he dubbed the English voice of the judge listing Tuco's many crimes before sentencing him to death by hanging in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Beck was one of the players in National Lampoon's first comedy album Radio Dinner in 1972. He was prominent as well in Allen's 1987 film Radio Days, dubbing the voice of the on-the-spot newsman.

Beck was the voice of "King Leonardo" in the 1960s TV cartoon series of the same name and was the narrator for the 1980s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero animated TV series and toy commercials. He also served as a pitchman for products from Combat Roach Killer to Little Caesar's Pizza (he was Caesar, Jr.) In 1999, he narrated a dramatization of L. Ron Hubbard's "Dr. Methuselah" for NPR's Bradbury Award-winning radio series 2000X. His grave is located in Brooklyn's Mount Hope Cemetery.

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