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Robert C. Bruce and Warner Bros. Cartoons
-by Matthew Hunter and Robert C. Bruce

In October of 2001, I received an email from the grandson of Robert C. Bruce, radio and television actor, who was the narrator for many Warner Bros. cartoons of the 1940's. Here's the email , which includes a brief history:

"I am writing for Robert C. Bruce. He is my grandfather and impressed to find his history posted on the net. He is now 87 and living in Greenville SC. If you have specific questions regarding his work and background, he would be more than happy to oblige.

A brief history....very active in major network programs out of Hollywood for 25 yrs including one of four in the cast of the first cartoon animated film on television, the NBC "Comic Book", playing 20 running parts. When TV came in, he wrote 150 pictures for television in three years, then started his own film company Robert C. porductions, making over 400 films. He wrote, filmed, narrated and edited until he retired at 65. Also, 60 yrs in theater business."

I contacted Mr. Bruce on the subject of his acting in Warner Bros. Cartoons, asking him if he had any particular memories and what it was like. His reply is a real look into the past, I was privileged to be able to ask him. Here, in his own words, is his history with Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.

"Dear Mr. Hunter, Attached are some of my thoughts about my years with Warner Bros. After two and half years in NY doing nine shows a week on WMCA, I moved to Hollywood as NBC and CBS were building their studios there. I got a job on KFWB, the Warner Bros. radio station. There were four regulars. Alan Ladd, Arthur Q. Brian, Jack LaScooley and me. We did four or five shows a week at $5 a show. The studio was in the same building as Schlesinger's, the Warners Cartoon Studio. Their directors got to know us and several of them started using me as their narrator. Over the next 20 years I worked for many, but mostly for Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones. I usually did the narration or "story teller" on the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies. But on some I would do various voices, such as on "Dangerous Dan McFoo". I was a narrator and about 5 other characters.

Normally I would record at Warner Bros. on a big empty stage with the director and writer and engineer in a booth up near the ceiling. They would explain the cartoon to me and I would record. if Bugs Bunny or Doc or I had other voices we'd work together. Mel Blanc was under contract with them and did most all the main characters that developed through the years. On the many travelog style cartoons I was usually alone.

During the 20 years that I made cartoons for Warners, Universal, and George Pal, I was mainly working in National radio, having done close to 5000 broadcasts. If you are interested in mainly cartoons I was one of 5 of we radio actors near the end of radio to make the first cartoon style seriver for TV. It was NBC Comic Book. This was about 1950. Three 5 minute comic strips in a 15 min. show, five time a week on NBC that ran a full year. We each played up to 15 characters. The actors who worked with me on the NBC Comic Book were: Lurene Tuttle, Pat McGeehen and Howard McNear. I was the main character in two of the shows; "Space Barton", and "Kid Champion". I believe I am the only actor still living who worked on these projects. If I can be of any more help please don't hesitate to contact me. Robert C. Bruce"

-Article content: © Matthew Hunter and Robert C. Bruce.