Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger, died Friday at the age of 82.
John Fiedler, the voice of Piglet, died Saturday at the age of 80.
Not household names, but you may know them without knowing you know them. Paul Winchell holds a special place in my heart, because he is the subject of my earliest memory. I must have been 2 years old, and I was watching an episode of the Paul Winchell-Jerry Mahoney Show (Winchell was a ventriloquist, and Jerry Mahoney was one of his dummies). The group was in a car, and Knucklehead Smiff (another Winchell dummy) thought that the moon was following them. For some reason, this terrified me, and I bawled like a baby . . . which I was.
Fans of the old Bob Newhart show will remember John Fiedler as Mr. Peterson, the short nebbishy patient of Bob Newhart’s with the raspy voice. He also played a short nebbishy juror in the classic film “Twelve Angry Men”, and a short nebbishy administrator in the original Star Trek episode, “Wolf In The Fold” (he turns out to be Jack the Ripper).
Anyway, in a weird coincidence, they both died this weekend. No word yet on Pooh.
Fun fact: Paul Winchell also invented, and held the patent for, an artificial heart.