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Press Release - May 31, 2018
The Collection of June Foray – The First Lady of Animation – Debuts at Heritage AuctionsHollywood pioneer's archive of awards, rare animation artwork offered June 16-17
Considered "The First Lady of Animation," Foray passed away in 2017 and is best remembered as the voices behind dozens of iconic cartoon characters from TV and film, including Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. However, behind the scenes, she was a Hollywood heavyweight responsible for creating the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards to recognize those in the field of animation and the Hollywood chapter of the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA-Hollywood).
"June convinced the world to see animation as a true art form," said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art at Heritage. "In addition to being an outstanding performer, she was an influential advocate for art and artists."
Foray entered show biz in 1929, at age 12, and retired in 2014, at age 97. At age 94 she became, and remains, the oldest entertainer nominated for, and to win, an Emmy Award. She sat on the Governors' board for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and for 20 years, she lobbied the Academy to establish an Academy Award for animation. Foray later contributed to ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Archive Project, a research and animation preservation center housed at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.
An original Chuck Jones piece of artwork that he titled "June Foray Lunch" is an important highlight in the collection. Her lifelong friend ship with Jones – who was famously quoted as saying: "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc was the male June Foray" – is detailed in her book, Did You Grow Up With Me Too? - The Autobiography of June Foray. The picture is an extraordinary piece of animation history from two giants in the industry," Lentz said.
Her role as wee Cindy Lou Who melted the Grinch's heart in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Foray's own 1966 Close-Up Production Celof the old Grinch himself is up for bid.
Foray kept many pieces of memorabilia from her 54-year career working on various Rocky and Bullwinkle projects with creator and friend Jay Ward (and later with Jay Ward Productions). Special pieces include:
· A Scene Cel featuring characters Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris, and Natasha, signed and personalized by Ward. It is accompanied by a photo of Foray, Bill Scott (the voice of Bullwinkle), and Ward, which appeared in her book.
· A cel inscribed by Scott, which reads: "Mellow greetings to my old sidekick June-baby. From Bullwinkle - Bill Scott."
· A rare and hand-painted Production Cel Setup of the classic "Rabbit out of a Hat" gag, made famous in the original series, was revived in 1985 for a Hershey's Kisses commercial in which Foray once again provided the voice for Rocket J. Squirrel. An 8" x 10" photo of Foray and Scott accompanies the cel from the commercial.
Foray also collected dozens of memorabilia of her most-famous roles, including:
· For nearly 60 years, Foray provided the voice of Granny, the Looney Tunes cartoon character and hapless owner of Tweety and Sylvester. A 1962 Production Cel Setup from The Jet Cage is from of the many times she teamed up with voice actor Mel Blanc (who provided the voices of Sylvester, Tweety and Blackbird).
· A 1954 Production Cel from the short Bewitched Bunny depicts Foray's character Witch Hazel, a role she would reprise for both Walt Disney and Warner Bros. productions.
· A rare Presentation Cel from an episode of The Simpsons titled "Some Enchanted Evening." The episode was originally to be the very first episode of The Simpsons but the animation was so inconsistent that 75 percent ended on the cutting room floor. The cel was given to Foray (who provided the voice of the receptionist of the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service) to commemorate that she was "technically" the very first guest voice to appear on the program.
Also on offer are several awards from her career and advocacy promoting animation. Up for bid is Foray's own 1997 Annie Award, her Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame Award and her 1982 Winsor McCay Award, one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry.
Not from Foray's collection, yet tied to her legacy, the June 16-17 auction also includes a selection of rare artwork from Jay Ward studios, featuring characters from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right, Peabody and Sherman, George of the Jungle and Captain Crunch and from Fractured Fairytales shorts.
The June Foray Collection highlights more than 1,100 lots in Heritage Auctions' Animation Art Auction. The sale also includes nearly 100 rare cels, drawings, storyboards and production cel setups from the 1940 Walt Disney masterpiece Pinocchio.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Eric Bradley, Public Relations Director
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