Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...

updated 07/03/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/03/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>June Foray

A few weeks ago, 81-year-old June Foray was buying a magazine in Los Angeles when the store clerk blurted out, "I hope you're not insulted by this, but you sound just like Rocky"—not Sly Stallone's slurring boxer, but the intrepid flying squirrel from the classic cartoons Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show. "I wasn't insulted at all," says Foray. "I was really flattered."

Nothing squirrelly about that: From 1959 to 1964 Foray provided the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel on all 326 episodes of the two series—a role she reprises in the film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, due June 30. "It's wonderful to be doing it again," says the actress, who also voiced evil Natasha Fatale on the series. (In the movie, Natasha is played in the flesh by Rene Russo.) Foray, who began doing radio voice-overs at age 15 in Springfield, Mass., is a who's who of talking 'toons: Nell, Dudley Do-Right's girlfriend; Ursula in George of the Jungle; Granny on Sylvester and Tweety. But these days Foray, whose husband, screenwriter Hobart Donovan, died in 1976, is branching out. She paints and writes children's stories in her Woodland Hills, Calif., home. And she recently wrote, produced and narrated a short animated film—for adults only. Foray proudly notes that You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks—about a woman cavorting with a much older man—"won an erotic film prize."

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