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Don Messick was an American actor who voiced the characters Dr. Benton Quest and Bandit in the original 1964 Jonny Quest television series and various adaptations thereafter.

Messick also notably portrayed Astro in Hanna-Barbera's animated series The Jetsons.

Roles

Quotes

Messick discussed his role as Dr. Quest in a 1986 interview with Brian Lowry in Starlog magazine:[1]

Starlog issue 111, page 18

Messick's other famous papa appeared on Jonny Quest, a short-lived (but still popular) Hanna-Barbera adventure series that premiered in 1964. Messick played Dr. Benton Quest in 20 of the show's 26 episodes.

"Jonny Quest was a forerunner; it was ahead of its time," Messick suggests. "It was a good series and very well done, but it cost Hanna-Barbera a fortune to produce. I think it cost them about eight times as much to do a half-hour Jonny Quest as it did to do The Flintstones."

Dr. Quest presented a challenge, since Messick was supposed to keep the voice deep and urgent at the same time. "We were all shouting most of the time, and when you shout, you lose any distinctive qualities that your voice might have," he explains. "They kept saying, 'Keep it low, keep it down,' but you can't do that and shout, because you lose that mellifluous or resonant quality. It was a constant conflict to keep it different."

As extensive as Messick's vocal range is, past experience dictates that he take care of its delicate mechanisms. In his earlier days with Hanna-Barbera, he once lost his voice for two weeks by overspeaking his bounds.

Notes/trivia

  • Messick replaced John Stephenson as Dr. Quest, due to the latter sounding too similar to Mike Road's Race Bannon.[citation needed]
  • Messick recorded four episodes of season 2 of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, but his health kept him from doing anything from acting beyond the gentle father; he couldn't play tension, anger, concern, urgency, etc. John de Lancie replaced him and relooped his lines.

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External links

References

  1. Starlog, October 1986, page 18: "Don Messick Vocal Hero" by Brian Lowry. Archived.


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