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Sterling Holloway
Born Sterling Price Holloway, Jr.
January 4, 1905(1905-01-04)
Cedartown, Georgia, U.S.
Died November 22, 1992 (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Voice actor
Years active 1926–1989

Sterling Price Holloway, Jr. (January 4, 1905 – November 22, 1992) was a character actor who appeared in 150 films and television shows. He was also a voice actor for the The Walt Disney Company.




Early life

Born in Cedartown, Georgia, Holloway was named for his father, who himself had been named after Confederate General Sterling "Pap" Price. Sterling Holloway Sr. owned a grocery store in Cedartown and served as mayor in 1912. Holloway Jr. graduated from the Georgia Military Academy, where he appeared in school plays. He then studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Professional career

Holloway appeared in the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's review Garrick Gaieties in the early 1920s. A talented singer, he introduced "I'll Take Manhattan" in 1925, and the following year sang "Mountain Greenery".

He moved to Hollywood in 1926 to begin a film career that lasted almost 50 years. His bushy red hair and high pitched voice meant that he almost always appeared in comedies. His first film was The Battling Kangaroo, a silent picture. Over the following decades, Holloway would co-star with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Lon Chaney Jr, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, and David Carradine.

Holloway's work in animated films began in 1941, when he was heard in Dumbo, as the voice of "Mr. Stork." Walt Disney had considered Holloway for the voice of Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but Pinto Colvig was chosen instead. Holloway was the voice of the adult "Flower" in Bambi, the narrator of the Antarctic penguin sequence in The Three Caballeros, the narrator in the Peter and the Wolf sequence of Make Mine Music, and the narrator of the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" sequence of "Fun and Fancy Free". He voiced Kaa in The Jungle Book, was the narrator in Goliath II, and voiced the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland and Roquefort in The Aristocats. His Disney Winnie-the-Pooh featurettes are well known. He was honored as a "Disney legend" in 1991. His last narrating credit was the Moonlighting episode Atomic Shakespeare. His last film credit was for Thunder and Lightning. Holloway played the role of Hobe Carpenter, a friendly moonshiner who gets help from Harley Thomas (David Carradine).

In 1942, during World War II, Holloway enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 37 and was assigned to the Special Services. He helped develop a show called "Hey Rookie", which ran for nine months and raised $350,000 for the Army Relief Fund.[1]

Radio and recordings

Holloway acted on many radio programs, including The Railroad Hour, The United States Steel Hour, Suspense and Lux Radio Theater. His distinctive tenor voice retained a touch of its Southern drawl and was very recognizable. Holloway was chosen to narrate many children's records, including Uncle Remus Stories (Decca), Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Disneyland Records) and Peter and the Wolf (RCA Victor).


Holloway easily made the transition from radio to television. He appeared on the Adventures of Superman as "Uncle Oscar", an eccentric inventor. He also played a recurring role on The Life of Riley. He was a guest star on Fred Waring's CBS television program in the 1950s, and appeared on Circus Boy as a hot air balloonist, Five Fingers ("The Temple of the Swinging Doll"), The Untouchables, Hazel, The Twilight Zone (episode "What's in the Box"), The Brothers Brannagan, Gilligan's Island, The Andy Griffith Show, F-Troop, and Moonlighting.

During the 1970s, Holloway also did commercial voice-overs for Purina Puppy Chow dog food and sung their familiar jingle, "Puppy Chow/For a full year/Till he's full-grown!".

Later years

Holloway kept his personal life private. He had dated in his youth, but never married. He did adopt a son, Richard, who became a producer.[citation needed] He amassed a major collection of contemporary art and became an expert on the subject, sometimes giving lectures on art.


Sterling Holloway died on November 22, 1992 at the age of 87 of heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital. At his own request, his remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.


The street in Hollywood where he lived has been renamed Sterling Holloway Place.

Personal quote

"I've always loved the theater very much. I've always been in it. I hate being away from it. I'm very stubborn--I like to do what I want to do. And what I want to do most is theater."[1]



Short subjects

A historical marker stands at the birthplace of Sterling Holloway, posted at the corner of Sterling Holloway Place and South College Street, Cedartown, Georgia.

Television episodes

Holloway as he appeared in "The Twilight Zone" episode, "What's in the Box"
  • The Adventures of Superman - The Machine That Could Plot Crimes (1952) also the same year in the Superman episode "The Whistling Bird" in which he plays the same eccentric scientist
  • The Life of Riley (1953–1958)
  • Willy 1955
  • Our Mr. Sun (1956) (voice of chlorophyll)
  • Hemo the Magnificent (1957)
  • The Twilight Zone, episode "What's in the Box", as the TV repairman (1964)
  • The Restless Sea (1964)
  • The Baileys of Balboa (1964–1965)
  • That Girl (episode 14, "Phantom of the Horse Opera") (1966)
  • Tukiki and His Search for a Merry Christmas (1979) (voice)
  • Andy Griffith Show, as Bert, a traveling salesman (1962)
  • F-Troop, as the Sheriff, episode "Wilton the Kid" (1966)
  • Gilligan's Island (1967), as Birdy, a man with a fondness for birds.
  • Moonlighting - Atomic Shakespeare (1986) narrator

See also


External links


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