A Guy You Don’t Know, But Really You Do

Lennie Weinrib

Lennie Weinrib

…has shuffled off this mortal coil. Lennie Weinrib, a character actor best known for a couple of memorable turns on The Dick Van Dyke Show (he’s the guy who called Rob Petrie and got him to put down the phone and cluck like a chicken), died in Santiago, Chile last Wednesday at age 71.

He was probably best known for his work as a voice talent, appearing in dozens of cartoons during the ’70s, including “The Flintstones,” “The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show,” “The New Tom & Jerry Show,” “Garfield and Friends,” and “Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo” (on which he did the original voice of Scrappy-Doo). He also voiced commercials for Ford, Avis, Pepsodent, Olympia Beer, and McDonald’s, and he was the voice of Mr. Pringle for Pringle’s Potato Chips.

Weinrib also developed H.R. Pufnstuf for Sid and Marty Krofft and provided the voice of the title character. That alone should cement his place in television history.

I stumbled across the story of Weinrib’s passing tonight and the picture with the article looked familiar. Sure enough, I’d spotted him on the SciFi Channel over the weekend in an episode of The Twilight Zone (“The Miniature”, which starred a young Robert Duvall).

Lennie Weinrib: A man who ought to be more well-known than he is. There’s not an American over the age of 40 who hasn’t heard his voice.

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