Doreen: So after the karaoke thing and getting an agent, what was Mary Kay's big break?
Dino: In '89 Mary Kay had done a few radio spots, but was not making enough to earn a living, so she was working part-time at Robinsons (department store). That's when she got the Snow White gig replacing the original Snow, Adriana Caselotti. It was for a new Snow White book on tape - which you can still buy, by the way. She told her boss she needed the day off for the recording, but he refused, saying that she had a choice: keep her job or do this "Disney thing." She asked the clod to make sure he spelled her name right on her check and walked out the door ... never looking back.
Next they needed a replacement for Meg Ryan as the villain, Dr. Blight, on the show Captain Planet and the Planeteers ... Mary Kay nailed that, too. Soon she had a reputation for being one of the top mimics in the business and began doing vocal matches for Jodie Foster, Gillian Anderson, Helen Hunt, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Tilly, Emma Thompson, Alfre Woodard, etc. for various movie trailers, TV shows, and so on. Anytime somebody needed a match and the original star wasn't available, Mary Kay was the one they called.
One of the last vocal matches she did was for Joan Cusack in Toy Story II. Director John Lassiter needed someone in the movie who could not only yodel for the character of Jesse the Yodeling Cowgirl, but he needed that person to sound like Joan Cusack (who voiced the character) while doing it - so once again, the powers-that-be turned to Mary Kay. Although Joan has said many times that she did everything in the movie and all the talking toys, I can tell you for a fact that while it is Joan saying the lines, in the movie, dolls, toys and games, the yodeling is 100% Mary Kay - and I've got the paperwork to prove it.
Mary Kay taught animation voice-over and vocal matching for a number of years. Her favorite and greatest student was actress Grey Delisle. In a triumph for teacher and student, Grey went on to co-star with Mary Kay in the original six segments of The Fairly Oddparents for Oh Yeah! Cartoons on Nickelodeon. The Fairly Oddparents was greenlit for its own series the day she died and she never found out that she was to star in a new series opposite Grey - but what a testament to her skills as a teacher.
On another front, producers of new Scooby-Doo material wanted a new Daphne Blake for the new millennium, with a more sophisticated sound and sensibility. They turned to Mary Kay who did a number of Scooby-Doo interstitials, games and movies including Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Witches Ghost, The Scooby-Doo Project (a Blair Witch spoof) for Cartoon Network, and the posthumously released Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders.
After the tragedy it was now Mary Kay who needed to be matched. It seemed so cosmically right that Mary Kay's greatest student Grey Delisle was the chosen replacement for all future Daphne work in Scooby Doo ... and damn if she doesn't sound just like Mary Kay. Student takes over for teacher. I'm sure Mary Kay is very proud. In tribute to her teacher, when the phone lines become active, Grey will be the official voice for the Mary Kay Bergman Memorial Project.
In a final moment of life coming full-circle, the last voice job Mary Kay did was the day she died, November 11, 1999. It was a radio commercial for Disneyland as Snow White ... so I guess it ended as it began.
Doreen: What are your wishes or hopes for the MKB Memorial Project?
Dino: To create a legacy. My dream is that someday in the future, a kid will be watching some animated flick Mary Kay did, like Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Toy Story II, Batman Subzero, etc. ... and that kid won't even know that they are being entertained by Mary Kay - and yet that kid is in this world because the efforts we do today saved the life of one of their parents. That's the legacy I want for my Mary Kay.
There is so much more that can be said about Mary Kay, but this interview, like her life, ended too soon. We wish to thank Dino Andrade for spending over four hours out of his busy schedule with us, sharing some of his precious memories of Mary Kay, so that we could share them with you.
The Official Mary Kay Bergman Memorial Site
Copyright ©2000, Doreen Mulman. All rights reserved.
Dino Andrade is a
director and movie producer.
In Dino's Words
Angel w/Red Wings
Was Not to Know
Mary Kay's Idols
Robin Williams Irony
Every 17 Minutes
Not An Option
Not A Casualty