Voice of Penelope Pitstop and Judy Jetson dies aged 96

Janet Waldo also appeared in I Love Lucy and King Of The Hill

Actress Janet Waldo, who was the voice of Penelope Pitstop in The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop, has died aged 96 from a brain tumour.

Waldo was also the voice of Judy Jetson in The Jetsons and had voiceover roles in The Flintstones, Josie And The Pussycats and King Of The Hill.

After appearing in small roles in several films, Waldo got her breakthrough in radio in the title role in the drama Meet Corliss Archer which ran on CBS from 1943 to 1956.

During that time, Waldo appeared in front of the cameras again in one-off roles in classic sitcoms I Love Lucy and The Phil Silvers Show, but she got her animation breakthrough in 1962 as teenage daughter Judy Jetson in The Jetsons. Although it only ran for one season, Hanna-Barbera’s futuristic version of The Flintstones was regularly shown on US TV.

Waldo also appeared in three seasons of The Flintstones itself, as Fred Flintstone’s domineering mother-in-law Pearl Slaghoople.

Further cartoon success came in 1968, when Waldo voiced hapless heroine Penelope Pitstop, who was menaced by The Hooded Claw in two series of the anarchic Wacky Races. Pitstop and The Hooded Claw resumed their rivalry in spin-off series The Perils Of Penlope Pistop for two years.

Immediately after The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop finished, Waldo became the voice in the title role of Josie And The Pussycats about a fictional band. Further roles in 1970s cartoons Inch High Private Eye,Help…It’s The Hair Bear Bunch and Scooby Doo followed, before The Jetsons was revived for a new series in 1985.

Waldo resumed her role as Judy Jetson. But controversy followed when a big-screen version of The Jetsons was released in 1990. Although Waldo had recorded her dialogue, she was replaced by the voice of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ singer Tiffany.

A guest voice on an episode of King Of The Hill in 1998, Waldo’s final work was on a video game of Wacky Races in 2000, reviving Penelope Pitstop.

Waldo was married for 46 years to playwright Robert E Lee until his death in 1994. She is survived by the couple’s two children and two grandchildren.