June Foray: More than a Woman

July 18, 2002

Yes, I know!!………….with a title like “More Than A Woman”, surely you’ve got that Bee Gees’ late 70s hit running through your mind (one of my college dormmates, who hated disco, used to scornfully call the Bee Gees: THE MICE BROTHERS!). But this feature has very little to do with the song, “More Than A Woman” (except that June Foray and her work are every bit as beautiful as that song—-and I do like that song, so no “tongue and cheek” intended there!). But seriously, setting all jokes aside, what “More Than A Woman” means, when you talk about June Foray, is that she is MUCH MORE than just a woman’s VOICE !!

If one judged June Foray’s professional activity, just by her IMDB filmography, one would probably jump to the conclusion that she is no longer very active. Up until late Fall of 2002, her filmography only showed her most recent credits to be done two years ago. Finally some of her appearances for 2001 and 2002 were posted (including a guest spot in the summer of ‘ 01 on the animated adult series, Family Guy.)

There is an explanation, however, for why she has not done as much film work recently. Just as a professor or a teacher, sometimes steps away from teaching, and dedicates his energies to those of a principal, a dean or a president, at his school, so June Foray appears to have taken on a lot of “Administrative” duties over the last 10-30 years.

There are a lot of things that her filmography will not tell you. If you read enough articles about Ms. Foray, you will see that she is on quite a few animation and film committees. She has even served as President in some of these organizations. What’s more, there is a June Foray animation award, which is presented annually.

These previous achievements should be enough to impress anyone (in light of all the voice work that she has also done, for decades). Just when you think there are no surprises left, June’s résumé goes one step further. For years June has been extremely active, traveling to animation conferences all over the world. I cannot recall all the places, and countries, where she has been. I vaguely recall that she once went to one cartoon symposium in Japan.

Even more impressive……….June has traveled, throughout the U.S., giving workshops in voice acting; often on college campuses. In the late 1990s she gave a workshop, one Saturday evening, entitled “The Many Voices of June Foray” at the University of Hawaii at Honolulu. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin did an article about her, after that talk: http://starbulletin.com/96/07/11/features/story3.html. Other articles have alluded to the fact that she has even served on the faculty of at least one Southern California university (and taught courses within the Theater/Drama Department).

Imagine!…………Our own little June Foray (and I mean “little”, here, affectionately; this has nothing to do with her 4’11” frame): a part-time college professor! Who could deny it?…………..She’s far more than a woman’s voice.

From my perspective, it’s not that June couldn’t be working more; it’s just that she has given so much of her life, to performing and acting, that now she is at a place where she wants to give something back——and also grow professionally and help others grow.

Other actors do similar things; they get into directing and producing. June is probably one of the very best people, in Hollywood, to take on some of these administrative responsibilities. Ms. Foray is also very busy working on her autobiograpy. I learned, from the Voice Actor Appreciation site, that she had thought she would be all finished with this book (in early 2002), but she is now far from finished, and is working feverishly on bringing it to total fruition.

Last, but not least, the IMDB filmographies do not catch everything that an actor does. I have read about a number of cartoons, that she signed to do, in recent years (this was mentioned on the Voice Actor Appreciation website), but for some reason, IMDB website failed to list these.

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