Perhaps there was more than Conrad's fame, as an established on-camera actor (and HUGE radio star), which prompted Ward and Scott to prefer him over Paul Frees. Maybe they really did like his voice better. I, however, am ecstatic that Frees ended up landing most of the narrator roles in those cartoons (no offense to William Conrad).

It wasn't just that his deep, dramatic voice was incredibly BEAUTIFUL and profoundly RICH...........sometimes he was one of the funniest things, in a given cartoon, just playing it straight. Frees provided the incredible disparity, of that serious, straight voice, side by side with some of the most ridiculous, outrageous things, going on in the cartoon, while he spoke. His voice often made the funny element absolutely hilarious!!

His normal speaking voice was, of course, not that much different from his voice as a narrator. Frees sent me a taped letter in December of 1974. One might describe his everyday voice as slightly gravelier than the voice heard for entertainment purposes. He also had a very relaxed voice, which was so much in keeping with his overall personality, at the tail end of 1974. I can't speak for his personality for the rest of his life (he died in 1986), but I can say that, at that juncture of his life, he was very much into having fun and not working any more than he had to. In his free time, he was a great aficionado of cooking and savoring a great meal. From what Paul told me, he was apparently a decent chef (he was married, at the time, and he did enjoy occasionally cooking for his wife).

Paul was so laid-back that, he admitted on the tape, to privately celebrating Thanksgiving, alone with his wife, that evening, shortly before Christmas! He said that they had been involved with other things, had been out of the country, and had just not gotten a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving. They did not care, however; they just celebrated it when they had the chance to. The bottom line was that, he had fun, in the same manner that he worked.........he did it on his schedule and when it was convenient (and thereby avoided rushing and losing the joy of the moment).

He mentioned that he did not really see the Hollywood gang that much, anymore.........He indicated that he might go to L.A., once in a while, and look other entertainers up, for lunch, but it didn't really happen, that much, anymore. He added some other fascinating details about his hobbies. In addition to having an affinity for cooking, he also loved to paint and write stories and music. Above all, Paul mentioned that he really thrived on spending a lot of time at home (and, of course, the painting that he loved to do had nothing to do with walls in a house!).

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