Some people believe that their job defines them, but really there is something that matters more. The things that you absolutely love to do explain a lot more about your personality than your job does. There are however, a few lucky people who's job IS the thing they love to do. Mel Blanc was one of those people.
The iconic voice actor got his start on radio, doing multiple character voices on a program called The Hoot Owls. His credits started piling up, with countless radio shows and numerous characters all becoming synonymous with his name. But everything changed when he got the call for one particular role.
A lot of actors have parts that define their careers, and Mel Blanc was no exception. The voice actor was called in by Warner Bros to voice their new character who's inspiration came from an unusual place. After seeing the iconic movie It Happened One Night, Warner Bros came up a with a new cartoon idea based on the scene where Peter Warne's character was eating carrots while leaning against a fence.
With that little spark of inspiration, they went to work on creating one of the more iconic characters of all time. Mel Blanc signed on to do the voice and then Bugs Bunny came to life. He first appeared in a film called A Wild Hare which also introduced us to Elmer Fudd.
The character was one that Blanc absolutely loved to voice. He ended up adding even more characters to the world of Bugs Bunny, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Pepé Le Pew, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn and more.
Blanc quickly earned the nickname "The Man of 1000 voices", and continued to create the characters that we all grew up loving.
In 1961, Blanc was in a terrible car-crash. He was alone in his car when he collided head-on with an 18-year-old student. The student managed to escape relatively unscathed, but Blanc wasn't so lucky...
The near-fatal accident left him with a skull fracture that put him into a coma for two weeks. He also suffered from fractures in his pelvis and legs. His doctors were having issues waking him, but finally one neurologist had a new idea.
The doctor spoke to Blanc and asked "How are you feeling today, Bugs Bunny?" That was enough to spark something in his mind, and after a short time, Blanc answered in a quiet voice "Eh... just fine, Doc. How are you?" The doctor continued this conversation by asking if Tweety was in there somewhere, to which Blanc replied "I tot I taw a puddy tat."
Hearing Blanc regain his consciousness was absolutely a relief. His recovery wasn't necessarily as relaxing as some other people may have wanted. The actor continued to work even from the confines of his hospital bed. He even had to record some of Barney Rubble's dialogue for The Flintstones while in a full-body cast in his hospital bed with his co-stars around him because he wanted to go back to work.
He returned to work and created hundreds more iconic characters and voices, eventually passing away in 1989 due to coronary artery disease. Even though his life ended fairly abruptly, the fact is, he made such a huge impact on the world.
His legacy will live on forever, and is even commemorated on his epitaph. But one thing that we will all remember is the fact that this man's legendary work was so good it even helped bring him out of a bad situation.