Rest in peace, John Stephenson.
General Hawk, General Franks, Dr. Benton Quest, Doggy Daddy, Mr. Slate– these are all characters that were brought to life by the incredibly talented John Stephenson. The voice actor passed away on Friday May 15, 2015 at the age of 91.
His career spanned an impressive 57 years in the entertainment industry with his first credited role listed in 1953 and his last in 2010. Before his move to voice acting he was a prolific character actor in the early days of television with appearances on notable series such as The Lone Ranger, F Troop, The Beverly Hillbillies, Get Smart, Perry Mason, and even Hogan’s Heroes. He was also the voice that announced the verdicts at the end of episodes of the popular series Dragnet.
Later, he moved to voice acting and was possibly the most-used talent at Hanna-Barbera Studios providing voices for Fred Flintstone’s boss Mr. Slate, Doggy Daddy, and was the original voice for Dr. Benton Quest on Jonny Quest before the role was assumed by the late Don Messick. His IMDB page lists over 230 acting credits.
Eventually John Stephenson went to work on many of the Sunbow animated series that fans of JBL are familiar with– providing the voices for such characters as General Hawk (substitute in “The Spy Who Rooked Me”), General Franks, General Flagg, Dr. Lucifer, Granak, Kup, Thundercracker, and Huffer for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Inhumanoids, and The Transformers.
In his final years he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had been living in a retirement home.
Rest in peace, John. Thank you for all the hours of entertainment you’ve given us. Your talents will be missed.