Shepard Menken

Shepard Menken (November 2, 1921 – January 2, 1999) was an American film, television, voice, radio[1][2] and character actor.[3][4]

Shepard Menken
Born(1921-11-02)November 2, 1921
DiedJanuary 2, 1999(1999-01-02) (aged 77)
OccupationRadio, Film, television and voice actor
Years active1949–1990
TelevisionThe Alvin Show (1960–90)

Early life

Menken began his career at the age of 11, when he started appearing on children's radio programs. After high school, Menken attended Columbia University, and later studied performing arts at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre and the Juilliard School of Music.


Menken made his film debut in 1949 with a supporting role in The Red Menace, and eventually appeared onscreen in 17 movies. Menken worked steadily as a television actor, appearing on such series as I Love Lucy, I Spy, and The Wild Wild West. He was also in demand as a voice talent, working on animated cartoons for Hanna-Barbera, UPA, and Marvel Productions, as well as advertising spots for StarKist Tuna and Mattel Toys; his was the voice intoning, "The only way to fly!" in Western Airlines' spots in the 1960s. Menken voiced the Clyde Crashcup character in The Alvin Show, as well as the character Tonto in the 1966-69 animated series The Lone Ranger. He also voiced the Spelling Bee and Chroma the Great in the 1970 live-action/animated film The Phantom Tollbooth, and provided the voice for the title character in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. In 1963, Menken formed his own company, Malibu Films, which specialized in educational and industrial films.


Shepard Menken died in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Woodland Hills two months after his 77th birthday.

Selected filmography


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