Meet the voices behind 'The Flintstones' who appeared all over 1960s TV
You yabba-dabba-didn't know these actors appeared on so many sitcoms.
Image: The Everett Collection
The Flintstones broke new ground like a dinosaur in Mr. Slate's quarry. In 1960, the cartoon made history as the first animated series in a primetime lineup. The ABC series appealed to the entire family, not just the kiddies chomping cereal, and stood as a brilliant sitcom in its own right, alongside contemporary programs on the schedule like My Three Sons and The Andy Griffith Show.
It's no wonder The Flintstones worked so well as an adult sitcom — most of the voice actors behind the characters worked on live-action sitcoms, too. In fact, just about all of them seemed to pop up on The Beverly Hillbillies alone.
While some of the Flintstones characters were portrayed by legendary voice actors who primarily worked off-camera, a few 'toons were brought to life by beloved stars of Petticoat Junction, The Carol Burnett Show and The Andy Griffith Show.
You can spot all of these Flintstones performers in 1960s television. Here are some examples of where they turned up.
1. Alan Reed - Fred Flintstone
We begin, naturally, with Fred. Alan Reed had dozens of small live-action roles, mostly notably as Sally Tomato in Breakfast at Tiffany's. He logged plenty of TV gigs, too. He played the boss of an Elvis-like rock star on The Beverly Hillbillies ("Teenage Idol"), and turned up in Have Gun - Will Travel, Peter Gunn and Make Room for Daddy. Here is Reed in the Batman episode "Penguin Sets a Trend," in which be played a military general at "The Hexagon."
2. Jean Vander Pyl - Wilma Flintstone
The voice of Jean Vander Pyl will forever be associated with both Wilma and Rosie the Robot on The Jetsons. The vast majority of her resume is Hanna-Barbera voice work, but she did make a handful of guest appearances on Leave It to Beaver. Here she is playing Mrs. Woods, the mother to Penny, Beaver's classmate with the blond bob hairdo.
3. Mel Blanc - Barney Rubble
No voice actor will likely ever have the impact of Mel Blanc. The brilliant performer was Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil… and that's just the Looney Tunes. Of course, he was Woody Woodpecker and Barney Rubble, too. "The Man of 1,000 Voices" rarely appeared onscreen as an actor, but he did turn up once as a driver on The Beverly Hillbillies ("Granny Learns to Drive").
4. Bea Benaderet - Betty Rubble
Pearl Bodine, Benaderet was a regular on The Beverly Hillbillies (though she was almost cast as Granny!) and she went on to headline her own rural-humor sitcom as the widowed Kate Bradley on Petticoat Junction. Alan Reed dropped by the Shady Rest Hotel in an episode of Petticoat. Sadly, Benaderet passed away in 1968.
5. Gerry Johnson - Betty Rubble
Johnson took over for Benaderet as Betty in 1964. She had just a few acting credits to her name, but you can catch her at the end of the Bewitched episode "Visions of Sugar Plums." In the charming Christmas tale, she and her husband (Bill Daily of The Bob Newhart Show and I Dream of Jeannie) turn up to adopt Bill Mumy!
Image: Sony Pictures Television
6. John Stephenson - Mr. Slate
Stephenson had a voice made for a pushy boss, so it was no wonder he appeared multiple times as different military men on Hogan's Heroes. Here we see him playing the spy Decker in "Bad Day in Berlin," but also played Professor Bauer, Captain Muller, Major Rudel, Major Kohler and an Inspector General on the WWII sitcom. You can also spot him in F Troop, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Perry Mason and Bonanza. And, yes, he too was on The Beverly Hillbillies.
7. Harvey Korman - The Great Gazoo
The brilliant comedian was an essential player on The Carol Burnett Show, and carried his role of Ed Higgins over to Mama's Family on a few special occasions. Did you know he was also the tiny floating green alien on The Flintstones?
8. Janet Waldo - Mrs. Slaghoople
Waldo is best remembered as Judy Jetson, but the experienced voice actor also provided many voices for The Flintstones, including teenage Pebbles and Mrs. Slaghoople. Here she is in a rare live-action performance, as a concerned daughter objecting to her mother's marriage on Petticoat Junction ("Young Love").
9. Howard Morris - Various voices
Mayberry's kooky, beloved Ernest T. Bass ("He's a nut!" Barney Fife declared on The Andy Griffith Show) gave life to dozens of colorful toons on The Flintstones, too many to list here. He was everything from Weirdley Gruesome to doctors, monkeys and birds on the animated series.