It was on this day, April 16, 1952, voice actor, singer, comedian, musician, songwriter and former radio personality William Richard “Billy” West was born in Detroit, Michigan.
Known for his voice-over work in a number of television series, films, video games, and commercials, West has done hundreds of voice-overs in his career such as Ren Höek (season 3 to season 5) and Stimpson (Stimpy) J. Cat on The Ren & Stimpy Show; Doug Funnie and Roger Klotz on Doug; and Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, and a number of others on Futurama.
In addition to his original voices, he has voiced Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Shaggy Rogers, Popeye, and Woody Woodpecker during later renditions of the respective characters. Perhaps West’s most notable film work came in the 1996 film Space Jam, where he provided the voice of both Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. West reprised the roles of Bugs and Fudd in subsequent Looney Tunes feature-length films and returned as Fudd in the theatrically released Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
In 1998, West starred in the direct-to-video film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island as Shaggy Rogers, becoming the second person to portray the character (the first being Casey Kasem).
In 2004, he voiced the classic character Popeye in the 75th-anniversary film Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy, and made his live-action film debut in Mark Hamill’s Comic Book: The Movie. He also appeared in a cameo in Garfield: The Movie.
Other films featuring West’s vocal talents include Joe’s Apartment, Cats & Dogs, Olive, the Other Reindeer, TMNT, The Proud Family Movie, and three Tom and Jerry direct-to-video movies.
For commercials West is the current voice of the red M&M and Buzz, the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee.
Billy West is 65 years old today. Happy Birthday, Billy