Last Known Activity:
Charles "Daws" Butler
U.S. Naval Intelligence
CHARLES DAWSON BUTLER, "Daws Butler" (1916-1988) was a prolific voice actor, puppeteer, and occasional writer; along with Mel Blanc and Paul Frees, he was one of the leading cartoon voice actors for four decades, particularly known for his work with Hanna-Barbera. Like many other prominent voice actors, he lent his talents to animated inserts on Sesame Street during the 1970s.
Daws Butler spent the greater part of his career as one of the premier voice-over actors in Hollywood, providing the voices for such well known characters as Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick-Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Jinks the cat, Dixie the mouse, Augie Doggie, Peter Potamus, Wally Gator, Hokey Wolf, Super Snooper, Blabber Mouse, Cogswell Cogs, Elroy Jetson and many others. He also provided the voices for such long-running commercial characters as Snap, diminutive companion of Crackle and Pop of noisy cereal fame, as well as Cap'n Crunch, spokesman for a somewhat quieter breakfast treat.
But, during WWII he was a member of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Service:
As the war raged on overseas, Butler felt that, although inspecting bombs was an important responsibility, he could do more for his country by enlisting in the military. Much to his surprise, he was turned down for active duty because he was an eigth of an inch too short. According to Hamlin, "One day I walked in and Daws was hanging in the doorway with bricks tied to his feet. I said, "What in the heck are you doing?" he said, 'Doc says I can stretch an eight of an inch this way'. And, you know, he did! He was a navy man."
Butler spent close to four years in the U.S. Naval Intelligence Service and Navy Reserve. Although he was stationed in the United States for the duration of World War II, he shied away from show business with the exception of the occasional off-base party. "I really didn't develop my tallent while in the service, but I think that unbeknownst to myself, in my subconscious, what we later called the sub-text, I piled up these things in my mind to use both as a writer and an actor in later years."
One of the most popular characters of Butler's career, one that he stored in his subconscious during this period, was Huckleberry Hound. Though Hanna-Barbera claims that Huckleberry Hound was based on Andy Griffith, the voice was actually based on William Harwood, a North Carolina man who was a veterinarian and next-door neighbor of Butler's future wife, Myrtis.