by Rick Goldschmidt 1-18-2000

On January 10th, 2000 the Enchanted World of RANKIN/BASS lost one of it's dearest and most talented friends.....Voice Actor BOB McFADDEN

Next to Paul Frees and Allen Swift, Bob McFadden voiced most of the other RANKIN/BASS incidental characters over the years. After the publication of my book, I tracked down Bob McFadden. He was retired and living in Florida. He enjoyed looking back on his RANKIN/BASS career and flipping through the pages of my book.

In 1979, Jules Bass and Maury Laws used Bob's vocal talents on the song "I See Rainbows" from RUDOLPH & FROSTY'S CHRISTMAS IN JULY. "I always looked up to Mickey Rooney," said McFadden. "In the late Fifties and early Sixties, I worked as an MC at some Supermarket shows that Mickey starred in. There were some shows where Mickey wanted to leave early for the track and only did 10 or 15 minutes of his act and I would end up filling in his time. For RUDOLPH & FROSTY, I think Mickey had finished his work already on the picture and I ended up doing his song. I sounded enough like him to pull it off. Jules made me a copy of the song on cassette and I think it's a very nice song."

Bob was a warm and wonderful human being. He was a very giving person and often talked in the voices of the many cartoon characters he voiced. For RANKIN/BASS he did characters like Snarf in THUNDERCATS, Jingle Bells in THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS, Baron Von Frankenstein in MAD, MAD, MAD MONSTERS and Jasper the Court Jester in THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF DANNY KAYE: The Emperor's New Clothes. Other classic cartoon characters that he helped bring to life include Milton The Monster, Cool McCool (with his best Jack Benny impersonation), Frankenberry, Lovable Truley and many, many more. Remember TERRYTOONS' LUNO? That was Bob as the boy and other characters.

Bob opened up his incredible archives of photographs to me and we are in turn sharing them with you to honor the man. The shot of Danny Kaye and Bob in the studio was from the 1972 recording session for THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF DANNY KAYE. "I mostly worked with Jules (Bass)," said McFadden. "I would see Arthur from time to time and say hello, but Jules normally did the sessions with me. I was part of the East Coast talent that they usually used and they would have another cast on the West Coast."

Bob recorded many novelty type records over the years and had a hit single with Rod "DOR" McKuen (famous poet) with a parody of the famous monster THE MUMMY. A couple of RARE photos seen here are from the McFadden/DOR sessions. The single still receives air play on oldies shows at Halloween. His LP with television legend Johnny Carson from the 1964 World's Fair is classic.

Bob was an outstanding talent that certainly went underappreciated in recent years. He was gracious enough to do several voice mail messages for me and I will always remember his kindness. We were saddened here to learn about Bob's bout with Lou Gehrig's disease. Bob never told us about his illness. He was always upbeat whenever we spoke to him and he will be sorely missed.