Launching his career as a stand-up comedian in 1967, Frank Welker opened for such acts as the Righteous Brothers, Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66, The Fifth Dimension and Glen Campbell. Welker's TV credits include comedy-ensemble stints on The Don Knotts Show (1971) and the syndicated Laugh Trax (1982). Despite his occasional on-camera appearances, Welker is best known as one of the most versatile voiceover specialists in show business. His specialty is a dead-on impression of the Three Stooges' Curly Howard, which he utilized to peak effect in the Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon weekly Jabberjaw (1976). To list all of his credits would take a couple of weeks at best: in Hal Erickson's encyclopedic 1995 volume Television Cartoon Shows, Welker is mentioned no fewer than 110 times! Some of his more memorable TV cartoon credits include Itsy Bitsy Spider (title character), Duck Tales, Captain Planet, Garfield and Friends, The Jetsons, Tiny Toon Adventures, Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and Batman: The Animated Series. In theatrical features, Welker is most often heard as nonverbal "funny animals" (1993's Aladdin) and "enchanted" inanimate objects (in 1994's The Shadow, he "played" a magic dagger).
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Previously lived and worked in New Orleans designing and painting Mardi Gras floats, working as a river boat deckhand and singing and playing drums in the rock band FUSION.
- Managed a video store in the early 1980s.
- First major voice acting role was on Dumbo's Circus from 1985 to 1986, playing Lionel the Lion.
- Filled in for Scar voice actor Jeremy Irons during the song "Be Prepared" in 1994's The Lion King after Irons suffered voice problems.
- Is the first voice performer of Disney animation to reprise his role for a live-action film, reprising the roles of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger for the 2018 film Christopher Robin.