Two of the Disney Winnie the Pooh voice actors -- Paul Winchell (Tigger) amd John Fiedler (Piglet) -- died this weekend.
Winchell had a long career as a master ventriloquist, inventor and children's TV host, but he may be best known for his work as the friendly tiger in the animated versions of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh books. Winchell, who gave Tigger the trademark lisp, voiced him from 1968 to 1999.
The 82-year-old was also the voice of other animated characters for Disney and Hanna-Barbera, including the character of Gargamel in The Smurfs. He brought dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff to life on television.
Winchell also held 30 patents, including one for an artificial heart, a disposable razor and a flameless cigarette lighter. He donated his early artificial heart to the University of Utah for research. Dr. Robert Jarvik and other researchers at the university went on to construct the first artificial heart implanted into humans.