Sterling Price Holloway, Jr. (January 4, 1905– November 22, 1992) was an American character actor who appeared in 150 films and television shows. He was also a voice actor for The Walt Disney Company.


Early life

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Holloway was named for his father, who himself had been named after Confederate General Sterling "Pap" Price. Sterling Holloway Sr. owned a grocery store in Cedartown and served as mayor in 1912. Holloway Jr. graduated from the Georgia Military Academy, where he appeared in school plays. He then studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Professional career

Holloway appeared in the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's review Garrick Gaieties in the early 1920s. A talented singer, he introduced "Manhattan" in 1925, and the following year sang "Mountain Greenery".

He moved to Hollywood in 1926 to begin a film career that lasted almost 50 years. His bushy red hair and high pitched voice meant that he almost always appeared in comedies. His first film was The Battling Kangaroo, a silent picture. Over the following decades, Holloway would appear with Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Lon Chaney Jr, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, and David Carradine.

Holloway's work in animated films began in 1941, when he was heard in Dumbo, as the voice of "Mr. Stork." Walt Disney had considered Holloway for the voice of Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but Pinto Colvig was chosen instead. Holloway was the voice of the adult "Flower" in Bambi, the narrator of the Antarctic penguin sequence in The Three Caballeros and the narrator in the Peter and the Wolf sequence of Make Mine Music. He voiced Kaa in The Jungle Book, was the narrator in Goliath II, and voiced the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland and Roquefort in The Aristocats. His Disney Winnie-the-Pooh featurettes are well known. He was honored as a "Disney legend" in 1991. His last narration were numerous episodes in Dink, the Little Dinosaur. His last film credit was for Thunder and Lightning. Holloway played the role of Hobe Carpenter, a friendly moonshiner who gets help from Harley Thomas (David Carradine).

In 1942, during World War II, Holloway enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 37 and was assigned to the Special Services. He helped develop a show called "Hey Rookie", which ran for nine months and raised $350,000 for the Army Relief Fund.[1] In 1945, Holloway played the role of a medic assigned to an infantry platoon in the critically acclaimed film A Walk in the Sun.

During 1946 and 1947, he played the comic sidekick in five Gene Autry Westerns.[2]

Radio and recordings

Holloway acted on many radio programs, including The Railroad Hour, The United States Steel Hour, Suspense and Lux Radio Theater. His distinctive tenor voice retained a touch of its Southern drawl and was very recognizable. Holloway was chosen to narrate many children's records, including Uncle Remus Stories (Decca), Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Disneyland Records) and Peter and the Wolf (RCA Victor).


Holloway easily made the transition from radio to television. He appeared on the Adventures of Superman as "Uncle Oscar", an eccentric inventor. He also played a recurring role on The Life of Riley. He was a guest star on Fred Waring's CBS television program in the 1950s, and appeared on Circus Boy as a hot air balloonist, Five Fingers ("The Temple of the Swinging Doll"), The Untouchables, Hazel, The Twilight Zone (episode "What's in the Box"), The Brothers Brannagan, Gilligan's Island, The Andy Griffith Show, F-Troop, and Moonlighting and Dink, the Little Dinosaur.

During the 1970s, Holloway also did commercial voice-overs for Purina Puppy Chow dog food and sang their familiar jingle, "Puppy Chow/For a full year/'Till he's full-grown!".

Later years

Holloway kept his personal life private. He never married, and once explained that this was because he didn't feel lacking in anything and didn't wish to disturb his pattern of life.[2] However, he did adopt a son, Richard (it is unknown exactly when Richard was adopted),[citation needed] and he continued to voice Sugar Bear before his death.


Sterling Holloway died on November 22, 1992 at the age of 87 of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital. At his own request, his remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.


The street in Hollywood where he lived has been renamed Sterling Holloway Place.

Personal quote

"I've always loved the theater very much. I've always been in it. I hate being away from it. I'm very stubborn — I like to do what I want to do. And what I want to do most is theater."[1]



Short subjects

File:Sterling Holloway Sign, Cedartown, Georgia.jpg

Television episodes

File:What's In The Box.JPG
  • The Adventures of Superman - The Machine That Could Plot Crimes (1952) also the same year in the Superman episode "The Whistling Bird" in which he plays the same eccentric scientist
  • The Life of Riley (1953–1958)
  • Willy 1955
  • Our Mr. Sun (1956) (voice of chlorophyll)
  • Hemo the Magnificent (1957)
  • The Twilight Zone, episode "What's in the Box", as the TV repairman (1964)
  • The Restless Sea (1964)
  • The Baileys of Balboa (1964–1965)
  • That Girl (episode 14, "Phantom of the Horse Opera") (1966)
  • Tukiki and His Search for a Merry Christmas (1979) (voice)
  • The Andy Griffith Show, episode "The Merchant of Mayberry", as Bert, a traveling salesman (1962)
  • F-Troop, as the Sheriff, episode "Wilton the Kid" (1966)
  • Gilligan's Island (1967), as Birdy, a man with a fondness for birds.
  • Moonlighting - Atomic Shakespeare (1986) narrator
  • Dink, the Little Dinosaur - narrator for episodes

See also



Rothel, David. 1984. Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey. ISBN 0-8108-1707-1

External links

it:Sterling Holloway

he:סטרלינג הולוויי nl:Sterling Holloway fi:Sterling Holloway sv:Sterling Holloway

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