June 22, 1920 – Voice Actor and Disney Legend Paul Frees is Born
“Color has its harmony and just like I have said: red, yellow, green, red, blue, blue, blue, red, purple, green, blue, purple, red, red!”
On June 22, 1920, Solomon Hersh Frees was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as a radio actor, but his career was put on hold when he was drafted during World War II, and fought in the D-Day landings at Normandy, France. Injured in battle, he was sent back to the United States to recover; after the war, he attended the Chouinard Art Institute, but left to take care of his ailing first wife and returned to his radio career. He quickly became busy, working on such series as Escape and Gunsmoke. Frees was a major player during the Golden Age of Animation, asked to work for the major studios to include Disney, UPA, Jay Ward Productions, and Hanna-Barbera, just to name a few. For Disney, Frees’ unusual four-octave range allowed him to play parts ranging from the Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion to his most well-known role of zany Professor Ludwig von Drake, who appeared in eighteen episodes of the Disney anthology series. Frees did a plethora of voices for Disneyland, including the narration for Adventure Thru Inner Space, as well as several of the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean. As Ludwig von Drake, Frees recorded several songs on the Disneyland Records label, including “The Spectrum Song.” During the 1960s and 1970s, it was near impossible to not hear Frees’ voice on a program. Frees continued to be active as a voice actor until his unfortunate death of heart failure at the age of 66. In 2006, Frees was honored as a Disney Legend.