Originally created 05/21/05

Henry Corden, voice of Fred Flintstone, dead at 85



LOS ANGELES - Henry Corden, the voice of cartoon caveman Fred Flintstone's "Yabba-dabba-doo!" for more than two decades, has died. He was 85.

Corden died of emphysema Thursday night at AMI Encino Hospital, his longtime agent Don Pitts said Friday. Corden's wife of nine years, Angelina, was with him at the time.

He took over as the lovable loudmouth Fred Flintstone when original voice Alan Reed died in 1977. Reed had been doing Flintstone since the character debuted in 1960.

Born in Montreal, Corden moved to New York as a child and arrived in Hollywood in the 1940s. His first acting role was in the 1947 film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." Known for playing villains, he found small parts in movies, including 1952's "The Black Castle" and "The Ten Commandments" in 1956.

"As Henry said, he always played the cold-blooded creeps," Pitts said.

Corden moved into voice acting in the 1960s, and deployed his dialect skills in bit parts for Hanna-Barbera, including "Jonny Quest," "Josey and the Pussycats" and "The New Tom & Jerry Show."

Since "The Flintstones" echoed "The Honeymooners," Corden tweaked his role to approximate Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden character, Pitts said.

Corden, who lived in Encino, had been working until his health suffered about three months ago. He can most recently be heard on ubiquitous cereal commercials yelling "Barney, my Pebbles!"

Besides his wife, Corden is survived by five children and five grandchildren. A private memorial "party" is planned, Pitts said.