Thurl Arthur Ravenscroft (February 6, 1914 – May 22, 2005) was an American voice actor and singer with a deep, booming voice. For 53 years, he was best-known as the voice of Tony the Tiger in more than 500 television commercials for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes (also known as "Frosties"). After his death, Lee Marshall replaced him as the voice of Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg's commercials.
Ravenscroft was the vocalist of the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" in the Christmas television special based on the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. His name was accidentally left off of the credits, however, leading many to believe (erroneously) that the cartoon's narrator, Boris Karloff, sang the song. Ravenscroft also sang "No Dogs Allowed" in the Peanuts animated motion picture Snoopy, Come Home.
Ravenscroft also provided the voice of Kirby in The Brave Little Toaster, the voice of Paul Bunyan in the animated short of the same name, and voiced the animated pig in the "Jolly Holiday" sequence of Mary Poppins. He can be heard in many Disney features, including One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, and The Aristocats, and sang on the soundtracks for Dumbo, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book (singing in Colonel Hathi's March, but does not provide the singing voice for Shere Khan at the end of That's What Friends Are For). While many people make the mistake of crediting Thurl for singing this line, George Sanders, who was an accomplished singer, did both the speaking and singing for the character of Shere Khan.
Ravenscroft was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1995 for his work in Disney animation.
During World War II, Ravenscroft served as a civilian navigator contracted to the U.S. Air Transport Command, spending five years flying courier missions across the north and south Atlantic. Among the notables carried on board his flights were Winston Churchill and Bob Hope.
Ravenscroft sang on the soundtrack for South Pacific, one of the top-selling albums of the 1950s. His distinctive bass can also be heard as part of the chorus on 28 albums of The Johnny Mann Singers that were released during the 1960s and 1970s. Andy Williams' recording of "The 12 Days of Christmas" features him as well. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ravenscroft was narrator for the annual Pageant of the Masters art show at the Laguna Beach, California Festival of the Arts.
Various record companies also released singles by Ravenscroft, often in duets with little-known female vocalists, in an attempt to turn the bass-voiced veteran into a pop singer. These efforts were commercially unsuccessful, if often quite interesting. The Mellomen released some doo-wop records under the name Big John & the Buzzards, a name apparently given to them by the rock-and-roll-hating Mitch Miller.