Mel Blanc is best known as the man of a thousand voices. He is most famously known as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. It was these voices that spoke when Mel Blanc was in a coma.
On January 24, 1961, Mel Blanc was involved in a near fatal car accident on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Mel was hit head on at an intersection known as Dead Man’s Curve, called that due to the 26 accidents at that intersection over the two years previous. The accident left Mel with fractures to both of his legs and his pelvis, along with a triple skull fracture that left him in a coma for three weeks. Following the car accident, Mel Blanc was taken to the UCLA Medical Center to be treated for his injuries.
While Mel Blanc was in a coma his doctor would come into his room and ask how he was going. He would say nothing in reply. One day the doctor decided to ask “Hey Bugs Bunny, how are you?” and to the doctors surprise Mel answered in Bugs voice, “Ehh, just fine, Doc. How are you?” That’s right, Mel Blanc actually answered in the voice of Bugs Bunny while he was in a coma. Next the doctor asked “And Porky Pig! How are you feeling?” and he answered in Porky’s voice, “J-j-j-just fine, th-th-th-thanks.” Later Mel spoke of this and said, “… you see, I actually live these characters.”
For 21 days Mel Blanc straddled death as he lay in a coma. But like the characters he often portrayed with his voice, he bounced back from near death. He even returned to his voice over work while he was recovering in hospital.
Mel Blanc passed away on July 10, 1981, at the age of 81 from coronary artery disease. At his request his gravestone reads “THAT’S ALL FOLKS”.
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