Pinto Colvig
Pinto Colvig at the studio.jpg
Colvig recording his voice for Goofy
Vance DeBar Colvig

(1892-09-11)September 11, 1892
DiedOctober 3, 1967(1967-10-03) (aged 75)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City
Alma materOregon State University
  • Voice actor
  • newspaper cartoonist
  • circus performer
Years active1913–1967
Margaret Bourke Slavin
(m. 1916; died 1950)

Peggy Bernice Allaire
(m. 1952)
Children5, including Vance DeBar Colvig Jr.

Vance DeBar Colvig Sr. (September 11, 1892 – October 3, 1967), professionally Pinto Colvig, was an American voice actor, newspaper cartoonist, and circus and vaudeville performer whose schtick was playing the clarinet off-key while mugging. Colvig was the original performer of the Disney characters Pluto and Goofy, as well as Bozo the Clown. In 1993, he was posthumously made a Disney Legend for his contributions to Walt Disney Films, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fun and Fancy Free.

Early life

Colvig was born Vance DeBar Colvig in Jacksonville, Oregon, one of seven children of William Mason "Judge" Colvig (1845–1936)[1] and his wife, Adelaide (née Birdseye) Colvig (1856–1912).[2]

William Colvig was a pioneer, an attorney and a distinguished Oregonian, he was never actually a judge. Pinto attended but did not graduate from Medford High School. Pinto was accepted and attended, sporadically from 1910 to 1913,[3] Oregon Agricultural College, in Corvallis,[4] where he took art classes and played clarinet in the band.[5][6] He drew cartoons for the Oregon Agricultural College Barometer newspaper, and the yearbook.[7]

I was born in Jacksonville and named Vance DeBar Colvig. At age 7 (because of too many freckles, and goony antics) I was nicknamed 'Pinto the Village Clown' (which I have used professionally during my circus and other show business activities, besides occasional jobs as a newspaper cartoonist.
— "'Pinto' Colvig Writes About Names, History of Clowning", Medford Mail Tribune, July 12, 1961.[8]


Angel Espoy, Tack Knight, Pinto Colvig and Byington Ford at the Animated Film Corporation, c. 1916[9]
Angel Espoy, Tack Knight, Pinto Colvig and Byington Ford at the Animated Film Corporation, c. 1916[9]

In 1913, Colvig worked the Pantages Theatre Circuit, briefly, before leaving for clarinetist in the Al G. Barnes Circus band for part of a season.[5] In 1914 he was a newspaper cartoonist in Reno, Nevada and then in Carson City, then again clarinetist in the Al G. Barnes Circus band for part of the 1915 season.[5]

I didn't know when I was going to school whether I wanted to be a clown, draw cartoons, write, hobo, or be a musician. So I wrapped it all up and made stew out of it.
— Pinto Colvig[10]

Colvig performed chalk talks in vaudeville.[10]

In 1916, Pinto Colvig worked at the Animated Film Corporation in San Francisco with Byington Ford and Benjamin Thackston Knight (1895–1977), aka "Tack" Knight[11] at the Animated Film Corporation, a company which produced animated cartoons years before Walt Disney.[5] The company produced animated cartoons several years before Walt Disney did and was the oldest known studio of its kind established in the West Coast. That year Colvig at Animated Film Corporation produced "Creation," reported to be the world's first feature-length cartoon.[5] Only five 35 mm frames survive, housed at the Southern Oregon Historical Society.[10]

In 1919, Pinto produced "Pinto's Prizma Comedy Review," the first color cartoon, it is now considered a lost film,[5][10] and published in the San Francisco Bulletin (May 1919—February 1920), the "Bulletin Boob" column, and photographs.[12]

In 1922, Colvig created a newspaper cartoon panel titled "Life on the Radio Wave" for the San Francisco Chronicle. The feature ran three or four times per week on the newspaper's radio page, was syndicated nationally,[13] and lasted six months.[14] In 1922, Colvig and his family moved to Hollywood, working as an animator, title writer, and comedian in silent comedies and on sound cartoons,[5] working first for Mack Sennett.[10]

By the late 1920s, Colvig became associated with Walter Lantz, with whom he attempted to establish a cartoon studio, creating a character called "Bolivar, the Talking Ostrich", which would have appeared in sound shorts[citation needed]. When Lantz became producer of Universal's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons in 1929, Colvig was hired as an animator, also working as a storyman and voice artist, briefly voicing Oswald.[15]

In 1930, Colvig signed an eight-year contract[5] with Walt Disney Productions as a writer, also providing sound effects, including the barks for Pluto the Pup. The following year he began voicing Goofy, originally known as Dippy Dawg.[16] Other notable characters he voiced include Practical Pig, the pig that built the "house of bricks" in the Disney short "Three Little Pigs", and both Sleepy (originally to be voiced by Sterling Holloway) and Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He also provided Ichabod Crane's screams in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in 1949.[citation needed] He directed (along with Erdman Penner and Walt Pfeiffer) the 1937 Mickey Mouse short Mickey's Amateurs. Colvig would be associated with Disney for most of his career.[citation needed]

Between 1937 and 1940, Colvig did not work for the Disney studio, after falling out with Walt Disney. He was offered a job with Fleischer Studios, then planning to produce a competing feature-length animation film in the wake of Disney's success with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, moving to Miami in early 1938. For Fleischer, he worked on 1939's Gulliver's Travels, for which he voiced town crier Gabby, who was spun off into his own short-lived series. He also voiced Bluto for the studio's Popeye the Sailor cartoons, replacing Gus Wickie, who had decided to stay in New York rather than move to Miami. Colvig's departure from Disney meant that the increasingly popular Goofy went voiceless for a number of years. A select few shorts during the interim period of leave featured a soundalike voice for Goofy provided by impersonator Danny Webb, who also did the voice of Egghead in Looney Tunes.[17] He began working on radio, providing voices and sound effects, including the sounds of Jack Benny's Maxwell on The Jack Benny Program, later performed by Mel Blanc.[3][18]

In 1939, Colvig returned to California, and began to devote himself to acting, appearing for the Warner Bros. animation studio and MGM, where he voiced a Munchkin in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.[19]

In 1946, Colvig was cast as Bozo the Clown for Capitol Records. He played the role for a full decade, which also included portraying the character on television.[3][20][21][22] During this period, Colvig also recorded the "Filbert the Frog" song, which featured Colvig's virtuoso use of the glottal stop as a musical instrument in itself.[citation needed]

In 1967, Colvig's last known performance, as Goofy, was for the Telephone Pavilion at Expo 67. Colvig's dialogue for this exhibit was recorded six months before his death.[23]

Personal life

Colvig married Margaret Bourke Slavin (1892–1950) in 1916, and settled with her in San Francisco, where four of their five boys were born; later, their last son was born in Los Angeles.[24]

Colvig was the father of the character and voice actor Vance Colvig, who also later portrayed Bozo the Clown on a live TV program.[citation needed]

A lifelong smoker, Colvig was one of the pioneers in advocating warning labels about cancer risk on cigarette packages in the United States.[citation needed]


Colvig died of lung cancer on October 3, 1967 at Motion Picture Country Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, at age 75.[25] He was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.[26]


Year Title Role Notes
1915 Creation Director, Writer, Producer
1919 Pinto's Prizma Comedy Revue Director, Writer, Producer
1925 Hey Fever Time Voice, Uncredited
After a Reputation Voice, Uncredited
Buster be Good Voice, Uncredited
Oh! Buster! The Butler Voice, Uncredited
Buster's Nightmare Voice, Uncredited
1926 A Prodigal Bridegroom Animator
1928 The Cockeyed Family Orange Farmer Voice, Uncredited
All Alike Writer
Standing Pat Writer
Blue Notes Bolivar Director, Writer, Voice
1930 Tramping Tramps Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
The Prison Panic Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Hippo Voice, Uncredited
Hot for Hollywood Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Voice, Uncredited
Hells Heels Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Pete, Burglar Voice, Uncredited
My Pal Paul Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Animator and voice, Uncredited
Not So Quiet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Private McGoofus, Private Gensburg Writer and animator, Uncredited
Spooks Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Hippo Writer, animator and voice, Uncredited
Henpecked Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Pete, Frog Writer, animator and voice Uncredited
Cold Feet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Writer, animator and voice, Uncredited
Snappy Salesman Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Writer, animator and voice, Uncredited
The Chain Gang Hounds Voice, Uncredited
The Singing Sap Fish, Hippo, Oswald Laughing Animator
The Detective Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Cock Robin, Pete, Father Kangaroo Animator
The Fowl Ball Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Rooster, Donkey Animator
The Navy Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Animator and voice, Uncredited
Mexico Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Hondro Pete, Announcer, Hot Tomale, Jumping Bean Animator
Africa Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Animator and voice, Uncredited
Alaska Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Pete, Deadpan Singer Animator and Voice, Uncredited
Mars Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Pete, Horse, Monster Animator
1931 College Pete Animator, Uncredited
Shipwreck Parrot, Giant Fish, Catfish Animator
China Animator, Uncredited
What a Doctor Animator and voice, Uncredited
The Farmer Square Dance Instructor, Old Cow, Old Hippo Animator
The Fireman Hippos Animator
Sunny South Cow Animator
Country School Teacher, Hippo Student Animator
The Bandmaster Owl Animator
The Stone Age Ring the Bell Announcer Animator
Radio Rhythm Horse Animator
The Hunter Dog's Barks Animator
The Moose Hunt Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Kentucky Belles Writer
Mickey Steps Out Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Orphans Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1932 The Duck Hunt Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Mad Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Barnyard Olympics Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Revue Dippy Dog, Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Just Dogs Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Nightmare Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Trader Mickey Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Whoopee Party Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Touchdown Mickey Goofy Voice, Uncredited
The Wayward Canary Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Klondike Kid Goofy, Pluto, Pierre Voice, Uncredited
Babes in the Woods Gnomes, Various Voice, Uncredited
Santa's Workshop Santa's Secretary Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Good Deed Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1933 Building a Building Pegleg Pete Voice, Uncredited
The Mad Doctor Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Pal Pluto Pluto's Angel Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Mellerdrammer Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Ye Olden Days Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Three Little Pigs Practical Pig, Big Bad Wolf (as Jewish Peddler) Writer and voice
The Steeple Chase Colonel Rolf Rolfe, Stable Boy #1, Stable Boy #2 Voice, Uncredited
1934 Playful Pluto Colonel Rolf Rolfe, Stable Boy #1, Stable Boy #2 Voice, Uncredited
The Grasshopper and the Ants Hop the Grasshopper Voice, Uncredited
The Big Bad Wolf Practical Pig Voice
Orphan's Benefit Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Servants' Entrance Mustard Pot Voice, Uncredited
1935 The Tortoise and the Hare Starter Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Service Station Goofy Voice, Uncredited
The Cookie Carnival Gingerbread Man Writer and voice, Uncredited
Who Killed Cock Robin? Prosecutor Parrot Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Garden Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Fire Brigade Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Music Land Writer and voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Judgement Day Pluto Voice, Uncredited
On Ice Goofy, Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Broken Toys W.C. Fields Doll, Various Writer and voice, Uncredited
1936 Mickey's Grand Opera Pluto Voice
Three Little Wolves Practical Pig Voice
Moving Day Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Alpine Climbers Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Donald and Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Three Blind Mouseketeers Tall Thin Mouseketeer Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Elephant Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Mother Pluto Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1937 The Worm Turns Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Magician Mickey Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Amateurs Goofy, Pegleg Pete, Singing Contestant Writer, director and voice, Uncredited
Moose Hunters Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Hawaiian Holiday Goofy and Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Sleepy / Grumpy Voice, Uncredited
1938 Poor Little Butterfly Voice, Uncredited
Poor Elmer Voice, Uncredited
The Pygmy Hunt Laughing Hyena Voice, Uncredited
Merbabies Writer
1939 The Lone Stranger and Porky Villain's Horse Voice, Uncredited
Customers Wanted Bluto Voice, Uncredited
Porky and Teabiscuit Teabiscuit, Horses, Porky's Car Voice
The Practical Pig Practical Pig Voice
The House That Jack Built Jack the Beaver, Ostrich Voice, Uncredited
Musical Mountaineers Hillbillies[27] Voice, Uncredited
Ghosks is the Bunk Bluto Voice, Uncredited
Hobo Gadget Band Lead Hobo, Hobo with Soda Fizz Voice, Uncredited
Snowman's Land Little Mountie, Engine Voice, Uncredited
Hare-um Scare-um Bugs Bunny (coughing) Voice, Uncredited
The Wizard of Oz Munchkins Voice, Uncredited
Jeepers Creepers Ghost, Porky's Car Voice, Uncredited
Gulliver's Travels Gabby, Gulliver (water gurgling sounds)[28] Voice, Uncredited
1940 Shakespearian Spinach Bluto Voice, Uncredited
Females Is Fickle Jellyfish Voice, Uncredited
Me Feelins Is Hurt Bluto Voice, Uncredited
Onion Pacific Bluto Voice, Uncredited
Nurse-Mates Bluto Voice, Uncredited
A Case of Spring Fever Coily Voice, Uncredited
Wedding Belts Henry Jive Voice, Uncredited
Fightin Pals Bluto Voice, Uncredited
Snubbed by a Snob Bull[29] Voice, Uncredited
Way Back When Women Had Their Weigh Buff Caveman[30] Voice, uncredited
You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly Horsefly Voice, Uncredited
Popeye Meets William Tell High Governor Voice, Uncredited
King for a Day Gabby Voice, Uncredited
The Constable Gabby Voice, Uncredited
Poopdeck Pappy Bruiser Voice, Uncredited
Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep Delivery Man Voice, Uncredited
Bring Himself Back Alive Lion[31] Voice, Uncredited
1941 All's Well Gabby Voice, Uncredited
Two for the Zoo Gabby Writer and Voice, Uncredited
Swing Cleaning Gabby Voice, Uncredited
Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy Camel Voice, Uncredited
Canine Caddy Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Fire Cheese Gabby Voice, Uncredited
Gabby Goes Fishing Gabby Voice, Uncredited
It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day Gabby Voice, Uncredited
Lend a Paw Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Man's Best Friend Hunter, Snoozer Voice, Uncredited
The Flying Bear Barney Bear Voice, Uncredited
The Thrifty Pig Practical Pig Voice, Uncredited
Mr. Bug Goes to Town Mr. Creeper Voice, Uncredited
7 Wise Dwarfs Doc Voice, Uncredited
The Tangled Angler Pete Pelican Voice, Uncredited
1942 The Raven The Wolf, Scotty[32] Writer and Voice, latter Uncredited
Aloha Hooey Cecil Crow Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Birthday Party Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Pluto Junior Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Conrad the Sailor Conrad the Cat Voice, Uncredited
Symphony Hour Goofy Voice, Uncredited
The Army Mascot Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Sleep Walker Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Bats in the Belfry Bats Voice, Uncredited
Out of the Frying Pan Into the Firing Line Pluto Voice, Uncredited
T-Bone for Two Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Blitz Wolf Sergeant Pork, the Third Pig Voice, Uncredited
Saludos Amigos Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Pluto at the Zoo Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Ding Dog Daddy Goofy Dog Voice, Uncredited
1943 Pluto and the Armadillo Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Hop and Go Claude Hopper Voice, Uncredited
Private Pluto Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Victory Vehicles Goofy Voice, Uncredited
One Ham's Family Father Pig Voice, Uncredited
Pass the Biscuits Mirandy! Foy and Barton Boys Voice, Undredited
The Stork's Holiday Stork Voice, Uncredited
1944 The Three Caballeros Aracuan Voice, Uncredited
How to Be a Sailor Goofy Voice, Uncredited
How to Play Golf Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Batty Baseball Pitcher Voice, Uncredited
Springtime for Pluto Pluto Voice, Uncredited
How to Play Football Goofy Voice, Uncredited
First Aiders Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1945 Tiger Trouble Goofy Voice, Uncredited
The Screwy Truant Meathead, Screwy Squirrel laughing[33] Voice, Uncredited
Dog Watch Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Eyes Have It Pluto Voice, Uncredited
African Diary Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Californy er Bust Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Canine Casanova Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Legend of Coyote Rock Pluto Voice, Uncredited
No Sail Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Hockey Homicide Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Canine Patrol Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1946 A Knight for a Day Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Kid Brother Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Make Mine Music Vocal effects Voice, Uncredited
In Dutch Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Squatter's Rights Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Purloined Pup Pluto Voice, Uncredited
A Feather in His Collar Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Frank Duck Brings 'em Back Alive Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Double Dribble Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1947 Variety Girl Special Voice Impersonation Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Housewarming Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Rescue Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Clown of the Jungle Aracuan Bird Voice, Uncredited
Crazy with the Heat Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Fun and Fancy Free Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Mickey's Delayed Date Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Foul Hunting Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Mail Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Blue Note Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1948 Bill and Coo Singer Voice, Uncredited
Melody Time
(segment: 'Blame it on the Samba')
Aracuan Bird Voice, Uncredited
They're Off Goofy Voice, Uncredited
The Big Wash Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Mickey Down Under Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Bone Bandit Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Purchase Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Cat Nap Pluto Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Fledgling Pluto Voice, Uncredited
The Cat That Hated People Lips[34] Voice, Uncredited
Mickey and the Seal Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Tea for Two Hundred Ants Voice, Uncredited
Wild and Woody! Sheriff, Wild Bill Hiccup, Devil[35] Voice, Uncredited
1949 Pueblo Pluto Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Surprise Package Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Sweater Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Bubble Bee Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Tennis Racquet Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Little Rural Riding Hood Country Wolf Voice, Uncredited
Goofy Gymnastics Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Sheep Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
1950 Pluto's Heart Throb Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pluto and the Gopher Pluto Voice, Uncredited
How to Ride a Horse Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Wonder Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
How to Ride a Horse Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Primitive Pluto Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Puss Cafe Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Pests of the West Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Food for Feudin Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Camp Dog Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Hold That Pose Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1951 Alice in Wonderland Flamengo Voice, Uncredited
Hello Aloha Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Man's Best Friend Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Two Gun Goofy Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Teachers Are People Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Party Pluto Voice, Uncredited
No Smoking Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Cold Turkey Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Get Rich Quick Goofy Voice, Uncredited
R'coon Dawg Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Lion Down Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1952 Fresh Laid Plans Farmer Voice, Uncredited
Pluto's Christmas Tree Pluto, Goofy Voice, Uncredited
How to Be a Detective Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Uncle Donald's Ants Ants Voice, Uncredited
Father's Day Off Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Two Weeks Vacation Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Tomorrow We Diet! Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Plutopia Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Cold War Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Home Made Home Pluto, Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Cold Storage Pluto Voice, Uncredited
Little Runaway Baby Seal, Tom Cat (seal noises) Voice, Uncredited
1953 Father's Day Off Goofy Voice, Uncredited
The Simple Things Pluto Voice, Uncredited
For Whom the Bulls Toil Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Father's Week-end Goofy Voice, Uncredited
How to Dance Goofy Voice, Uncredited
How to Sleep Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1954 Spare the Rod Pygmy Cannibals Voice, Uncredited
1959 Sleeping Beauty Maleficent's Goon Voice, Uncredited
1961 Aquamania Goofy Voice, Uncredited
1965 Freewayphobia Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Goofy's Freeway Troubles Goofy Voice, Uncredited
Donald Duck Goes West Goofy Voice, (final film role)



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