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Frank Welker

ScoobyAddicts.com had the great opportunity to ask Frank Welker some questions. I would like to thank Doreen Mulman, webmaster of The Frank Welker Homepage, for helping with this interview and for giving me a photo to use of Frank Welker.

Frank Welker
Frank Welker was born in Denver, Colorado on March 12, 1946. He began his career as a stand-up comic and a live-action actor. He appeared in TV commercials and films before getting the role as Fred in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? He started the role in 1969, and has continued to do the voice of Fred to this day.

Frank Welker has voiced many characters including Megatron (The Transformers), Curious George, Dynomutt, Stripe (Gremlins), Orbity (The Jetsons)... Visit The Frank Welker Homepage for more information on Frank.

ScoobyAddicts.com: What inspired you to become a voice actor?

Frank Welker: I really started out doing mostly on-camera and then stand-up comedy. I never really set out to do just voice acting ... in fact, I didn't even know what VO performing was ... the first job I got was a commercial for "Friskies" dog food. The producer and his girlfriend saw me perform in a nightclub doing dog and cats. It turned out that she worked for CBS and she was casting a cartoon show, "Scooby Doo!" I went in to read for Scooby and ended up getting Freddy. I am still doing Freddy and that was in 1969. I know it doesn't quite work out mathematically since I have been telling everybody I'm thirty-six.

ScoobyAddicts.com: Do you do anything special to get into character?

Frank Welker: I really like the visual, seeing the character or a drawing. Second best is reading a description, and third is having someone tell you. Physically, I try to let myself become the character. Pretty straightforward.

ScoobyAddicts.com: Do you have a favorite character that you have voiced?

Frank Welker: It's almost like cheating, if I say I like one better than the other ... I really do like some more that others but there are many and I don't want to go on and on and bore you. I liked doing Bullwinkle on a series of commercials, Freddy and Scooby of course, Megatron because it was my own invention without any input from others and it has stood the test of time. Slimer, Fall-Apart Rabbit, Jabberjaw, Dynomutt ... see, I told you I would go on and on and bore you!

ScoobyAddicts.com: What are some of the rewards of being a voice actor? What are some of the challenges?

Frank Welker:
Rewards: You get play a hugely diverse range of characters ... unless you get voice type cast ... you work with fabulous and often very funny and talented people, and you don't take things too seriously because you bark, growl, and make noises for a living.

Challenges: Working with people that take a simple fun job and get in the way of the actors. Coming up with new voices when you are given the same kinds of roles over and over. Remembering all of the above.

ScoobyAddicts.com: According to an interview done (on the Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour DVD) you originally wanted the part of Shaggy. How did you get the part of Fred? Did you expect the show to be such a huge success when you first started to voice him?

Frank Welker: I went in to read for Scooby but they had pretty much cast the wonderful Don Messick. They were interested in casting young people to play young people ... a new concept at that time ... so, I read for both Shaggy and Freddy. I wanted Shaggy because he was the comedic [role], and Casey Casem wanted to get Freddy ... a little more on the serious side. We both ended up getting each other's character and I must say it worked out well. Don, and Casey were absolutely perfect for their characters. Freddy, well I like him, but he is not the most popular on the show. I remember seeing a survey on AOL. They asked who was your favorite Scooby Gang character? Scooby had thousands, Shaggy had hundreds, Daphne, and Velma were in the respectable low hundreds. Freddy came in around 50, and half of those votes were mine!!

ScoobyAddicts.com: Do you have a favorite Scooby-Doo episode?

Frank Welker: Oh man, there were so many ... I haven't a clue. I know as the show progressed over the years I was doing more and more guest voices and that was always fun, especially villains. Something different.

ScoobyAddicts.com: You have done the voice of Fred for every series, except for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. Why didn't you do the voice of Fred for that series?

Frank Welker: I think the studio wanted to try a young version of Fred and felt the formula worked the first time so they got a younger version of me. Here is a strange twist, one of the actors on "PUP" was a young kid, Scott Menville, as it turns out we are working together as of this writing on the newest incarnation of Scooby but he is playing a young Shaggy for Casey Casem.

ScoobyAddicts.com: You started voicing Scooby-Doo in the movies from 2003 (starting with Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire) to present. Why did you voice him as opposed to Scott Innes?

Frank Welker: That was a studio decision. I wouldn't audition for Don's part. After we lost Don, Scott was given the roles of both Scooby and Shaggy. I think Casey decided he would like to continue doing the shows and of course he was immediately given the job back. Scott did a very good Shaggy and Scooby but I think the studio wanted someone who lived in LA and was close by the studio. Scott has a very successful radio show and career in another state but I believe he still does a certain amount of Scooby related commercials and personal appearances.

ScoobyAddicts.com: Do you have any new projects coming up?

Frank Welker: We just finished our second season of, "Curious George" and were nominated for an Emmy (yea!). I have a couple of other projects but can't disclose them at this time. Sounds like CIA huh?!

ScoobyAddicts.com: Thank you, I really appreciate your time!

Frank Welker: You are more than welcome Nicole. Thanks for keeping up with, "Scooby and the Gang" ... hello to all our fans at your site!