The name? Hardly known by anyone today. The voice? One of the most distinguishable in holiday, leading to a successful acting and voice acting career. Ladies and gentlemen, for your Disney Legend consideration, Pat Buttram.
Perhaps better known for his life action role of Mr. Haney on televisions shows Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, Buttram also provided voices for Disney characters for nearly 25 years. Born in Alabama on June 19, 1915, Buttram first appeared in a Disney role in 1970 as Napoleon in The AristoCats.
His next Disney role would be Buttram’s most notable, and recognizable Disney role, playing the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham in 1973’s Robin Hood.
While the Sheriff would be his most notable role, it would not be his final Disney role. He would appear as Luke (a possum) in 1977’s the Rescuers before appearing in 1981’s The Fox and the Hound as Chief.
There would be two final roles Buttram would voice for Disney. 1989 saw Buttram provide a cameo as a Bullet in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Sadly, kidney failure would claim the life of Buttram on January 8, 1994, more than a year his posthumous role in A Goofy Movie as the Possum Park Emcee. This would obviously be the final role of his career, and following his passing during production, Disney dedicated the movie to him.
Looking back at his career, the question presented: Is Pat Buttram a Disney Legend? As talented a voice actor as he was (appearing on non-Disney shows along the way as well), it’s hard to argue against Buttram being a legend. However, given that he represented one highly notable character (Sheriff of Nottingham) and several small role characters, he deserves the appreciation of Disney fans, but I would pass on including him as a Disney Legend. That said, I would not complain if he were to ever be named one.
However, being deserving of Disney fan appreciation, let me be one of the first to wish Pat Buttram a happy 99th birthday.
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