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Jackson Beck
1912 - 2004

Jackson Beck was born July 23, 1912 in Manhattan, New York. He is best known as the voice of Bluto in over 300 Popeye cartoons. His father, Max Blank, was a silent-film actor.

Beck had a career in radio, television and animation dating from 1931 with Myrt and Marge. Amongst other roles, In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's Superman; it was Beck who intoned the famous prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." Decades later, he portrayed Perry White, Clark Kent's boss in the Filmation Superman animated series. He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series, and starred as Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948-1950.

In 1969, Beck used his deep, dramatic, modulated voice as the narrator of Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. He was prominent as well in Allen's 1987 film Radio Days, dubbing the voice of the on-the-spot newsman.

Beck was the voice of "King Leonardo" in the 1960s TV cartoon series of the same name. Beck also served as a pitchman for products from Combat Roach Killer to Little Caesar's Pizza (he was Caesar, Jr.) In 1999, he narrated a dramatization of L. Ron Hubbard's "Dr. Methuselah" for NPR's Bradbury Award-winning radio series 2000X.


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