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The Jetsons aired from September 1962 until September 1963 on ABC and in first run syndication from 1985-1986 and 1987.
"Meet George Jetson..."
Like The Flintstones, The Jetsons was based on the premise of a typical family placed in an atypical situation. But this time the action moved from prehistoric Bedrock to the mid-21st century, where cities hovered and cars flew. Also like The Flintstones, the series originated on prime time television before moving to a brighter future on Saturday mornings.
The Jetsons were led by the bread-winning patriarch George ( voice of George O.Hanlon), who worked at Spacely Sprockets for the short and short-tempered Cosmo Spacely (voiced by Mel Blanc). Spacely constantly demanded that George work more hours and solve impossible predicaments, or else face the unemployment line.
Though the series was set in the future, George's wife Jane ( Penny Singleton) often fit the housewife stereotype that dominated that era's female characters. She was always trying to coerce the credit cards out of her reluctant husband in order to enjoy outlandish shopping sprees with her daughter Judy.
Judy ( Janet Waldo) was a model teenager, obsessed with shopping, boys, and getting tickets to the latest Martian rock concert. Son Elroy ( Daws Butler) was a typically inquisitive six-year old, master of the computer-operated gadgets that filled the Jetson household.
Assisting around the house was Rosie the robot maid ( Jean Vanderpyl), whose nasal, New York monotone made her a favorite with viewers. Rounding out the cast was the Jetson's faithful dog Astro ( Don Messick), who became so popular he was eventually given his own series, Astro and the Space Mutts. The speech-impaired pooch ("Rello, Reorge") later became the inspiration for Scooby Doo, with Don Messick providing the voice for both characters.
Due to rival programming, the Jetsons only lasted a year in prime time, but their futuristic ways and their catchy, easy-to-memorize theme song made them popular enough to play for 14 years on Saturday mornings.
In 1985, Hanna-Barbera decided to produce new versions of The Jetsons for syndication. Keeping the original style of the cartoons, but updating the humor to a more 80's sensibility, these later episodes captured a whole new audience. The only major change was the addition of Orbity ( Frank Welker), an alien pet whose springy legs and fuzzy appearance contributed to the quirky charm of the show.
Throughout the years, the Jetsons have reigned, along with the Flintstones, as one of the most beloved cartoon families of all time, inspiring countless toys and dolls, two television specials, and the 1990 theatrical release, Jetsons: The Movie.
To read an article about The Jetsons go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XAkuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=btsFAAAAIBAJ&dq=the%20jetsons&pg=3961%2C4229214
To read Daws Butler's Obituary go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=1iRZAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1kYNAAAAIBAJ&dq=daws%20butler%20died&pg=3597%2C2576240
Here is George O Hanlon's Obituary
George O'Hanlon, 76, George Jetson's Voice
Published: February 15, 1989
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 14 George O'Hanlon, who became the voice of the cartoon world's man of the future, George Jetson, after unsuccessfully auditioning for the role of the cartoon caveman Fred Flintstone, died of a stroke on Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. He was 76 years old.
Mr. O'Hanlon had just finished recording his role as George in ''Jetsons: The Movie,'' a full-length cartoon from Universal Pictures and Hanna-Barbera Productions scheduled for release in the fall.
''George loved doing 'The Jetsons,' '' said Joe Barbera, the president of Hanna-Barbera. ''He just sounded great in our latest sessions.''
The film is based on ''The Jetsons,'' the popular 1960's cartoon situation comedy about a futuristic family.
Mr. O'Hanlon's other credits include the roles of the television commentator in the film ''Rocky'' and William Bendix's next-door neighbor on the television show ''The Life of Riley.'' He also wrote for the Jackie Gleason show for two years.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy, a son, George Jr., a daughter, Laurie, and a granddaughter.
Here is Penny Singleton's Obituary from the LA Times
Penny Singleton, 95; Actress Played Blondie in 28 Movies, on Radio
November 14, 2003|Claudia Luther | Times Staff Writer
Penny Singleton, best remembered as Blondie, the scatterbrained yet often sensible character she played in 28 movies from 1938 to 1950, died Wednesday at Sherman Oaks Hospital. She was 95.
She had suffered a stroke two weeks ago, said longtime friend Dick Sheehan.
Singleton was known to later generations as the voice of Jane Jetson in the cartoon movies and TV shows about the futuristic family. But she was most identified with her role as the wife of bumbling Dagwood Bumstead in the movies based on the popular comic strip created by Chic Young.
The family life of the Bumsteads and their children, Alexander (Baby Dumpling) and Cookie, along with their dog Daisy, involved humorous and numerous misunderstandings and mishaps concerning everything from Blondie's efforts to get Dagwood's job back (he was always getting fired, it seemed) to Blondie's efforts to start a bakery business.
As Mrs. Bumstead, Singleton was constantly on call to her husband's high-pitched, plaintive cry of "Blon-deeeeeee!"
Like the Andy Hardy and Charlie Chan movies of about the same era, the "Blondie" episodes brought audiences to movie houses two or more times a year.
"For a while there, Blondie was apt to turn up on the bottom half of the bill about every other time you went to the movies," John Springer and Jack Hamilton wrote in "They Had Faces Then."
Besides her movie role as Blondie, Singleton played the character on a popular radio program from 1939 to 1950. But by the time Blondie came to television for the first time in 1957, Singleton was almost 50, and the role went to the younger Pamela Britton.
Born Dorothy McNulty on Sept. 15, 1908, in Philadelphia, Singleton was the daughter of a newspaper typesetter. She began her career at the age of 7 singing songs at movie houses. She also performed in vaudeville as a child.
"I suppose it would be difficult for many people today to understand, but vaudeville was the most marvelous school for a child imaginable," she told the Cincinnati Post in 1997.
She also was a talented gymnast whose coach thought she should try out for the Olympics, but by then she had earned money professionally and was not considered an amateur.
By the time she was a teenager, she was getting chorus girl and other small roles on Broadway, including doing a number with Jack Benny in a revue called "The Great Temptations." By 1928, she had joined a road company of "Good News," starring opposite Jack Haley. Back on Broadway, she sang two numbers with Haley -- "Button Up Your Overcoat" and "I Could Give Up Anything but You" -- in "Follow Thru."
While in her 20s, she moved to Hollywood, appeared in a series of minor roles in better movies -- or sometimes better roles in minor movies -- and changed her name to Penny Singleton. She chose her first name because she had always saved pennies; Singleton was the name of her first husband, to whom she was married briefly.
Singleton had a role in the 1930 film version of "Good News" and in "After the Thin Man" (1936), one of the Nick and Nora Charles movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. In the latter, Singleton, playing saucy nightclub singer Polly Byrnes, delivers this line: "Hey, don't call me illiterate -- my parents were married right here at City Hall!"
Singleton appeared in "Boy Meets Girl" (1938) and many other films.
By the time she was 30, she landed the role of Blondie. "I was thrilled but also surprised," she told the Cincinnati Post in 1997. "I had been a brunet all my life."
She quickly bleached her hair and went on to star opposite Arthur Lake, who played Dagwood, for the next dozen years for Columbia Studios.
The remarkable run of movies began with "Blondie" and included "Blondie on a Budget" (1940), in which budding actress Rita Hayworth had a role; "Blondie for Victory" (1942), "Blondie Hits the Jackpot" and the final film in the series, "Beware of Blondie" (1950). Only in 1944, a war year, was no "Blondie" movie released. None were shorter than 64 minutes nor longer than 75.
Besides Hayworth, many actors who later became well-known appeared with Singleton and Lake in supporting roles, including Robert Sterling, Bruce Bennett, William Frawley, Jimmy Durante, Zasu Pitts, Lloyd Bridges, Glenn Ford, Hans Conried and Anita Louise.
The regular characters besides the Bumsteads were Dagwood's boss, J.C. Dithers, played by Jonathan Hale; the beleaguered mailman, Mr. Crumb, played by Irving Bacon (later mailmen were Eddie Acuff and Dick Wessel); and Daisy the dog, played by a series of cute canines. The Bumstead children were played by Larry Simms and Marjorie Kent (also known as Marjorie Ann Mutchie).
Robert Sparks, who became Singleton's second husband and to whom she was married for 22 years until his death in 1963, produced some of the Blondie movies.
In his movie guide, critic Leonard Maltin said the first Blondies "were the best -- fresh and original, with many clever touches belying the fact that they were low-budget films."
He said that by the mid-1940s, however, the movies had become formulaic.
After the Blondie franchise died out, Singleton went on the road with a nightclub act but became mostly inactive in Hollywood. She appeared in the film "The Best Man" in 1964 and, briefly in 1971, she replaced her old friend Ruby Keeler in "No, No Nanette" on Broadway. As children, Singleton and Keeler had gone to professional children's school together in New York.
Singleton was the voice of Jane Jetson in the TV series "The Jetsons," which began in 1962. She later worked on TV specials and a 1990 movie featuring the futuristic family, as well as a few guest appearances on other TV programs.
After "Blondie," Singleton became active in labor unions, particularly the American Guild of Variety Artists, to which she was elected president in 1969.
In 1966, she was a leader in the strike to get better working conditions for Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes.
At the age of 88, Singleton said of her career, "I loved everything I did, big or small, it didn't matter as long as it was fun and was pleasing to people."
Singleton, who had lived in Sherman Oaks for many years, is survived by her daughters, Dorothy Henry of Sherman Oaks and Susan Sparks of Paris; two grandchildren, and a great-grandson.
Services will be Tuesday at St. Francis de Sales Church, 13370 Valleyheart Drive, Sherman Oaks. For information, call (818) 784-0105.
Here is Janet Waldo's Obituary from the New York Times.
Janet Waldo, Voice of Judy Jetson, Dies at 96
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK JUNE 13, 2016
Janet Waldo, a voice-over actress who played sprightly teenagers for decades on popular cartoon shows, most notably The Jetsons, died on Sunday at her home in Encino, Calif. She was 96.
The television historian Stu Shostak, a friend, said the cause was an inoperable brain tumor.
Ms. Waldo broke through as the title character on Meet Corliss Archer, a CBS radio show about a girl next door that ran from the early 1940s until the mid-1950s.
In 1962 Ms. Waldo landed her first, and most enduring, animation role. She played Judy Jetson, the teenage daughter on The Jetsons, Hanna-Barbera's futuristic answer to The Flintstones. The show initially lasted only one season; those episodes ran in syndication until new ones were made beginning in 1985.
Ms. Waldo played Judy in the television movie Rockin With Judy Jetson (1988), but not in Jetsons: The Movie, a feature film released in 1990. After Ms. Waldo finished recording Judy's part, the studio decided to replace her with the pop singer Tiffany to drum up ticket sales.
I was totally crushed, she told The Los Angeles Times in 1990. I originated the character, and I feel very sentimental about Judy.
The film was the last time the original cast recorded together. George O'Hanlon, who voiced George Jetson, died in 1989, shortly after finishing his part.
Janet Marie Waldo was born on Feb. 2, 1920, in Yakima, Wash. She attended the University of Washington before she started acting. She had bit parts in films like What a Life (1939) and on radio shows including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. She later appeared on I Love Lucy, Get Smart and other television shows.
Ms. Waldo married the playwright Robert E. Lee in 1948. He died in 1994. She is survived by a sister; a son, Jonathan; a daughter, Lucy Lee; and two grandchildren.
Ms. Waldo voiced many other cartoons, including Josie on Josie and the Pussycats and, in a departure from her more winsome roles, Fred's hectoring mother-in-law on The Flintstones.
For more on The Jetsons go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jetsons
For an episode guide go to http://www.tv.com/the-jetsons/show/3723/summary.html?tag=tabs;summary
For a great Jetsons website go to www.cybercomm.nl/~ivo/
For more on The Jetsons go to http://www.toonopedia.com/jetsons.htm
To go to Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20100309052107/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/jetsons.html
For another Jetson's page go to http://nostalgiacentral.com/television/tv-by-decade/tv-shows-1960s/jetsons/
For some Jetsons-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/jetsons
To watch the opening and closing credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2Z8kPpLg1g
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