There are fewer and fewer people left who were associated with the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons before the Flintstones came along in 1960.

We’ve lost another one. Doug Young has passed away at the age of 98, according to cartoon producer Mark Evanier. You can click here to read his obituary in the Seattle Times.

Doug was a native of Helena, Arkansas. His mother re-married and he and his family were living in San Antonio in 1930. It’s unclear when he arrived in California, but he was a radio announcer/actor before and after getting out of the service (he enlisted two days before Pearl Harbor). Mr. Young was good at voice impersonations; he was fired from one station for doing an impression of the station manager. As the 1950s rolled on, he found himself, like so many others, with less radio work because television was taking over. To pay the bills, he drove a truck while making the rounds looking for on-air employment. Another of the many people knocking on doors was Daws Butler. Doug explained to interviewer Stu Shostak that he ran into Daws in a book store one day.

He said “What are you doing?” I told him. He says “Forget it.” Come to my place. We’re going to make a tape, take you out to H-B and that’s it ... he went out and we did an audition and Joe Barbera liked it.
The studio was launching the Quick Draw McGraw Show in 1959 and Barbera told the press he was looking for new voices. He hired several. Hal Smith and Jean Vander Pyl were called in to do incidental characters. Elliot Field got the job voicing Blabber, but bowed out after only a handful of cartoons because he ended up in hospital. And someone was needed to do a Jimmy Durante voice for Doggie Daddy. Barbera wasn’t just borrowing from the Durante-Moore radio show, he was borrowing from himself, as he had Daws Butler pull off a Durante impression as Spike in the Spike and Tyke cartoons at MGM.

Young recalled that he and Peter Leeds were auditioned for Doggie Daddy. Leeds had worked with Daws on various projects for Stan Freberg. Daws had apparently recommended Mr. Young for the role because he didn’t want to take it on the role due to the strain it would put on his voice. Doug said he tried to get Durante’s warmth and openness into the Doggie Daddy character, and I think anyone who has seen the cartoons will believe he succeeded. It’s one thing to belt out a line like “Everybody wants ta get inta de act!” but it’s quite another to use the same voice over 6½ minutes and create a character like Young had to do.

I won’t go into a full list of series Doug Young worked on; you can find it on line. His work was always first-rate. Suffice it to say he ran into personal problems in the mid-‘60s and felt the solution was to leave Hollywood. He moved to Oregon and thence to Washington State where he remarried in 1969, and was involved with a group that re-created old radio shows and brought old radio stars up to meet with fans.

From what I understand, he was still living in his home (at least he was until recently).

It may not be much, but my condolences to his family on their loss. I’m sure others here agree.