Voice of Wilma Flintstone Dies
LOS ANGELES -- Jean Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma Flintstone, whose trademark yell ''Fre-e-e-ed!'' was heard in living rooms around the world as she shouted at her husband in the popular television cartoon series, has died, her son said Tuesday.
Vander Pyl, who played a host of characters in various radio shows and animated television series, died at her home in Dana Point, south of Los Angeles, of lung cancer Saturday, her son, Michael O'Meara, said. She was 79.
She was also the voice of Pebbles, the Flintstones' daughter, and did duty as Mrs. Slate, the wife of Fred Flintstone's boss.
After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Vander Pyl got her start as a radio actress in the radio series ''Calling All Cops,'' the precursor to television's ''Dragnet,'' mostly playing damsels in distress.
She went on to play the mother on radio's ''Father Knows Best'' and Andy's many girlfriends on ''Amos and Andy.''
In addition to ''The Flintstones,'' she was featured on that show's space-age counterpart, ''The Jetsons,'' on which she performed as seven characters, including George Jetson's mother-in-law, George's secretary, Rosie the robot maid and Mrs. Spacely, the boss's wife.
But she was known around the world as the voice of Wilma. The show ran for six years, from 1960 to 1966, and was seen in more than 80 countries.
Even today, in syndication, it is estimated that not a minute goes by in which ''The Flintstones'' is not being watched somewhere in the world.
But while people were listening to Vander Pyl's voice, she was not hearing the ring of the cash register.
She told an interviewer in 1995 that she received $250 per episode for making the show and that when the series ended, she rushed to accept $15,000 in lieu of residual payments from syndication.
At that time, she lived in nearby San Clemente and ruefully observed: ''If I got residuals I wouldn't live in San Clemente. I'd own San Clemente.''
Voice of Wilma Flintstone Dies
© The Associated Press
DANA POINT, Calif. -- Jean Vander Pyl, the voice of Wilma in ''The Flintstones'' and the last surviving original cast member of the pioneering animated series, has died. She was 79. Ms. Vander Pyl died Saturday of lung cancer, said Michael O'Meara, one of her three sons.
''The Flintstones,'' a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that humorously chronicled family life in the Stone Age, ran from 1960 to 1966 and has been in worldwide syndication ever since. Ms. Vander Pyl played the sometimes stern but always loving wife of Fred Flintstone.
''She was an anonymous celebrity,'' O'Meara said. ''You could go out with her and nobody would recognize her.''
''All she'd have to do was go 'Fr-ed!' and people would say: 'Wilma Flintstone! I grew up with you!' She'd light up the room,'' her son said.
Ms. Vander Pyl also voiced Rosie the Robot and Mrs. Spacely on ''The Jetsons'' -- until she became too ill about six months ago. She also made an appearance in Steven Spielberg's 1994 live-action movie based on the series.