April 15, 1917 – Birth of Actor Hans Conried
“Hans Conried was inspired casting, you have to say, as Captain Hook. He was a consummate actor and had been one of the busiest and best radio actors throughout the ’30s and ’40s, so he was well schooled in how to act a part vocally.” – Leonard Maltin
Born on April 15, 1917, in Baltimore, Maryland, Hans Conried would go on to be one of the most recognizable vocal actors in Hollywood, with his most famous role, outside of the Disney Studio work, as the voice of Snidely Whiplash in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series. He studied acting at Columbia University, and after working in radio, he moved into films in 1939. Conried’s first role for the Disney Studios was in 1951, for The Walt Disney Christmas Show, in which he played the Slave in the Magic Mirror.
His recognizable and distinctive radio voice landed him one of his most well-known roles: the dual role of Captain Hook and Mr. Darling in the 1953 film adaptation of Peter Pan. Not only did he bring the vocal chops to the role, but he also acted out the role in a live-action version of the film meant for the animators to observe. After this role, Conried would go on to provide the voice of Thomas Jefferson in the 1953 short Ben and Me. Conried was also hired by the studio to appear on screen in the third installment of the Davy Crockett series, Davy Crockett at the Alamo, as the gambler Thimblerig who takes Davy and George Russel to Texas. Conried would also appear in The Cat from Outer Space as Dr. Heffel and as Professor Whatley in The Shaggy D.A. Conried passed away on January 5, 1982, and left behind a diverse collection of work. Although he has not been named as a Disney Legend, Conried’s recognizable talent through his role as Captain Hook makes him an important part of Disney History.