Born in New York City in 1921, actor and voice performer Shepard Menken began his career at the age of 11, when he started appearing on children's radio programs. After high school, Menken attended Columbia University, and later studied performing arts at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theater and the Juilliard School of Music. Menken made his film debut in 1949 with a supporting role in The Red Menace, and eventually appeared onscreen in 17 movies. Menken also worked steadily as a television actor, appearing on such series as I Love Lucy, I Spy, and The Wild, Wild West. He was also in demand as a voice talent, working on animated cartoons for Hana-Barbara, UPA, and Marvel Productions, as well as advertising spots for Star Kist Tuna and Mattel Toys; his was the voice intoning, "The only way to fly!" in Western Airlines' spots in the 1960s. In 1963, Menken formed his own company, Malibu Films, which specialized in educational and industrial films. Menken died in 1999 of natural causes.