More sad news rolls in this week as Julie Bennett, the veteran voice actress best known for her role as Cindy Bear in the classic Yogi Bear cartoons, has reportedly passed away. According to her talent agent and close friend, Mark Scroggs, Bennett died on Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications suffered from the coronavirus, the latest of many beloved celebrities over the past several days to fall victim to the deadly illness. She was 88 years old.
Bennett was born in Manhattan on Jan. 24, 1932. As a young girl, she'd move to Los Angeles with her family, later attending Beverly Hills High School as a teenager. Following graduation, she'd move back to New York and began working as a performer in theater, radio, and early television roles. Some of her earliest roles include parts on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Adventures of Superman, and Dragnet. She also appeared often on the anthology shows Lux Video Theatre and Matinee Theatre.
By the late '50s, Bennett had begun working as a voice actress as well, voicing roles on the classic animated shows The Quick Draw McGraw Show, The Bullwinkle Show, and The Huckleberry Hound Show. Her most well-known character is Yogi's love interest, Cindy Bear, in Hanna-Barbera's The Yogi Bear Show cartoon. First voicing the character in 1961, Bennett would play Cindy for nearly three decades, continuing to reprise the role in other Yogi Bear movies and spin-off series, such as 1964's Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! movie and 1988's The New Yogi Bear Show reboot series. If you watched any Yogi Bear cartoons as a kid, you'd certainly have to remember Bennett's distinctive voice for Cindy.
Bennett continued to work as a voice actress well into the '90s, playing Lola on the animated series Garfield and Friends. After the death of original voice actress Linda Gary, Bennett also took over the role of Aunt May on the classic Spider-Man cartoon series, playing the character over the next three seasons. Her role as Peter Parker's aunt would also prove to be her final work as an actress, as Bennett stepped away from acting in 1998 following the show's cancellation. Under a different name, she'd also work successfully as an agent to the stars and as a realtor, though her fans will always remember her fondly for the dozens of roles she'd portrayed in the course of her acting career.
Described as her "adoptive family," Carol, Nick, and Mark Scroggs are among Bennett's survivors. We send our condolences to them along with everyone else who knew and loved Bennett. Along her those she knew best, Bennett will also forever be missed by her many fans whose lives she's touched with her performances across many generations. She'll be forever remembered, and may she rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.