Q: How did Mel Blanc get credited for the voice of Dino in the 1994 version of "The Flintstones" if he died in 1989?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Controversially -- that's how.

Mel Blanc, the legendary voice actor behind many of the "Looney Tunes" characters, also did the voice of Dino in the original, animated "Flintstones" series in the 1960s. The 1994 live-action version, released five years after Blanc's death at age 81, used bits of these previous recordings.

However, he wasn't initially credited in the film, which led to a $1-million lawsuit by Blanc's estate. According to an Associated Press article, the film's studio (MCA) sent an apology letter to Blanc's family and offered $500 in compensation, which the family's lawyer called "ridiculous."

It would appear they reached some kind of settlement, because only the filing was reported in the media, and the voice credit you saw was added to subsequent home video versions.

Blanc's career spanned 52 years, and he continued working right up until his death. His final role was the voice of Mr. Spacely in the animated 1990 film "Jetsons: The Movie," which was dedicated to his memory.

Interestingly, according to his biography on the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission website, he was born Mel Blank, but he changed the spelling to a "c" after a teacher (as seems to so often be the case with great entertainers) told him once that he would amount to nothing -- that he was blank, like his name.

Instead, he became one of the most famous and versatile voice actors in film and television history.


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