You never realized these 11 notable actors voiced Justice League superheroes in cartoons

Which game show host was Superman? Which 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' star played a bad guy?

Image: The Everett Collection

Wonder Twins powers, activate! Shape of… a famous actor! Form of… a cartoon classic! 

Was there a better Saturday morning cartoon than Super Friends? We don't think so. For half a century, DC Comics superheroes have been entertaining cereal-chomping children, dating back to animated series like The New Adventures of Superman and The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure in the mid-1960s.

The Justice League heroes teamed up for Super Friends beginning in 1973, and the cartoon ran in various iterations through 1986. For many of us, this was our glimpse of Wonder Woman and Aquaman in action on-screen. 

You undoubtedly watched some of these toons as kids. You perhaps did not realize that some famous sitcom actors were voicing characters like Atom and Krypto the Superdog. With the Justice League back in the pop culture eye, let's take a look at some notable performers behind the cartoons.

1. Ted Knight as Black Manta

We begin with our favorite example of a celebrity voice behind vintage DC Comics characters. Some might know that Ted Knight, Emmy-winning star of Mary Tyler Moore and Too Close for Comfort, was the voice of the narrator in Super Friends. Did you know he was doing DC toons well before that? Back in '67, he brought to life Aquaman's archenemy Black Manta in the first episode of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure.

Image: The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

2. Marvin Miller as Aquaman

As for the hero in that early take on Aquaman? The orange-and-green icon was played by Marvin Miller — who also voiced Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet. He was a baddie in the Bogart noir Dead Reckoning, pictured here, and also turned up in an episode of Perry Mason, "The Case of the Lover's Leap."

Image: The Everett Collection

3. Bud Collyer as Superman

Best known as a game show host, Collyer emceed the popular series Beat the Clock and To Tell the Truth. He was bringing Superman to life long before that. He voiced the character on radio dating back to The Adventures of Superman in 1940. The early Superman cartoons utililized much of the radio cast, and Collyer made the leap to animation, voicing both Clark Kent and the big blue guy in the 1960s.

Image: The Everett Collection

4. Pat Harrington Jr. as the Atom

Harrington took home an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing building superintendent Dwayne Schneider on One Day at a Time. He was the man behind shrinking scientist Ray Palmer and his alter-ego the Atom on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure.

Image: The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

5. Gerald Mohr as Green Lantern

Mohr is one of those familiar faces that can be seen all over classic TV. He has guest starring roles in Perry Mason, 77 Sunset Strip, Lost in SpaceThe Lucy Show, Maverick, The Rifleman, Bonanza, Wanted: Dead or Alive… we could go on. And, yes, he was also Green Lantern in those 1960s Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure cartoons.

Image: The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

6. Norman Alden as Aquaman and Green Arrow

Alden popped up in a Perry Mason, as well as a couple episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. He had a regular role in the Tin Conway Western sitcom Rango in 1967. He would go on to voice Aquaman in early episodes of Super Friends, and also pulled double duty as Green Arrow.

Image: The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

7. Shannon Farnon as Wonder Woman

While Farnon was the first actress to voice Wonder Woman in a Hanna-Barbera production, she was not the first to voice the superhero overall. That honor goes to Jane Webb in The Brady Kids of all places. Yes, the first appearance of Wonder Woman on television was a Brady Bunch cartoon. Anyway… Farnon was primarily known for her work voicing Wonder Woman, but she did appear in front of the camero, too. You can spot her in two episodes of Dragnet (1967), as seen here. Earlier, she appeared in an episode of My Favorite Martian — where she appeared alongside Yvonne Craig, a.k.a. Batgirl!

Image: The Everett Collection

8. Olan Soule as Batman

Thin and typically bespectacled, Olan Soule might not strike you as a Bruce Wayne type. But he gave voice to the Dark Knight in dozens of Super Friends adventures. You can spot the former radio performer in a handful of episodes of My Three SonsPetticoat Junction, The Big Valley and Gunsmoke. Some might remember him as choir master John Masters on The Andy Griffith Show, as well.

Image: The Everett Collection

9. Bob Hastings as Superboy

Hasting was a regular on McHale's Navy, appearing in more than 100 episodes as the boot-licking Lieutenant Elroy Carpenter. Additionally, he was everything from Dennis the Menace's basketball coach to a bartender on All in the Family. Thanks to the wonders of animation, he might be the only man to play both the precocious Superboy and Batman ally Jim Gordon!

Image: The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

10. Casey Kasem as Robin

Familiar radio host of American Top 40, Kasem made for one great sidekick, whether he was Shaggy or Robin.

Image: The Everett Collection / Warner Bros.

11. Danny Dark as Superman

Danny Dark, who has the most comic-book-y name on this list (his given name was Daniel Melville Croskery), is also the most obscure actor here. However, he might have the most familiar voice. His TV commercial work is ingrained in your brain. He was the one who said, "This Bud's for you," and "Raid… kills bugs dead," and "Sorry, Charlie." He was the voice in the intermissions of Bonanza. He was the voice in commercials for Parkay and Keebler. And, yes, he was Superman/Clark Kent for a dozen years on Super Friends.

Image: The Everett Collection / laradio.com

SEE ALSO: MEET THE VOICES BEHIND 'THE FLINTSTONES' WHO APPEARED ALL OVER 1960S TV

You yabba-dabba-didn't know these folks appeared on so many sitcoms. READ MORE

 
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HerbF 12 months ago
Gerald Mohr was also the voice of Reed Richards:Mister Fantastic in the Hanna-Barbera adaptation of Marvel's "Fantastic Four" prior to voicing Green Lantern for Filmation in 6 cartoons (3 Solo Cartoons, 3 Justice League Cartoons) - thus making him the first actor in any medium to play both a Marvel and DC Comics hero!
oldiesfanjohn 24 months ago
A sidenote. I always enjoyed Gerald Mohr's part whenever I'd watch 1959's movie "The Angry Red Planet."
Then of course he popped up everywhere on TV in the 1960's.
JoeSHill 25 months ago
Ted Knight, before his "Ted Baxter" role on CBS's "THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW" in 1970 had been an established voice actor at Filmation Associates in the 1960s. In "THE BATMAN-SUPERMAN HOUR" on CBS in Fall 1968, Ted Knight narrated all the 38 "Adventures of Batman & Robin" segments, also voicing "The Joker", "The Penguin", and "The Riddler", as well as "Commissioner Gordon". people think that "F-TROOP" actor Larry Storch voiced The Joker, but it was Ted Knight who did the voice of that character, decades before Mark Hamill played the Joker voice in 1992. Marvin Miller, once synonymous to CBS's "THE MILLIONAIRE" series in the 1950s, also did voices in Hanna-Barbera cartoons like "JONNY QUEST", and "SHAZZAN!", and after voicing "Aquaman" in 1967, Marvin Miller and Ted Knight, along with Jane Webb voiced the characters in ABC's "FANTASTIC VOYAGE" cartoon series in Fall 1968, the second of three animated shows that were exclusively produced by Filmation for ABC and 20th Century Fox Television, along with "JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH" and "THE HARDY BOYS". Pat Harrington, Jr (may he rest in peace) and Cliff Owens also voiced characters in a Filmation produced animated pilot called "DICK DIGIT" in 1967, and later voiced "The Atom" and "The Flash" for CBS's "THE SUPERMAN-AQUAMAN HOUR OF ADVENTURE" in Fall 1967. Vic Perrin, also known as the voice of "Dr. Zin" on the original "JONNY QUEST" series in 1964 (and "The Control Voice" from ABC-TV's "THE OUTER LIMITS") also played the voice of "Hawkman" in 1967, and also voiced "Vultan" In Filmation's "FLASH GORDON: THE GREATEST ADVENTURE OF THEM ALL" in 1978 ( it aired on NBC in August 1982) and Danny Dark, the voice of "Superman" in Hanna-Barbera's "SUPER FRIENDS" (1973-1986) later became an NBC announcer, and also announced the openning of NBC's "V-The Series in 1984-85.
JoeSHill JoeSHill 25 months ago
Another piece I left out, was that from CBS's "JEANNIE" cartoon series that Hanna-Barbera Productions and Screen Gems made in Fall 1973, was that Bob Hastings and Mark Hamill (four years before his breakout role on "STAR WARS") were the main voices of that cartoon series, just a decade and a half before they worked on "BATMAN-THE ANIMATED SERIES" for FOX in Fall 1992.
VBartilucci 30 months ago
Ted Knight and Pat Harrington shared the male voice work for damn near every Filmation show. They worked together on Journey to the Center of the Earth among other things.
Dario VBartilucci 30 months ago
Pat also did some voices for the Pink Panther cartoon series in the '60s and 70s.
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