Chuck McCann, the zany comic who hosted a children’s television show in the 1960s before branching out as a character actor in films and TV, died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 83.
McCann died Sunday of congestive heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital, according to his publicist Edward Lozzi.
McCann was born Sept. 2, 1934 in Brooklyn. He became a household name in New York when he took over a variety show, entertaining a generation of children with light-hearted humor and puppets.
In 1968, McCann appeared in his first major film: “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” He expanded his work into animation acting and created the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, who cried “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!” in commercials for General Mills.
He moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s and made guest appearances on shows including “Little House on the Prairie,” ”Bonanza,” and “Columbo.”
McCann was a prolific voice actor, lending his voice to characters such as Mayor Grafton on “The Garfield Show,” Ducksworth in “DuckTales: Remastered,” and Heff Heffalump in Disney’s “The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.”
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Fanning, and two daughters.