59 years ago today, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer premiered on TV.

Rudolph Heat Change Mug

The TV movie Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer debuted in 1964 and has become a holiday classic.

While it is associated with the United States, nearly every character was voiced by a Canadian and it was recorded at RCA Studios in Toronto.

Canadian voice actors were chosen for two main reasons. The first was that many radio dramas were still produced in Canada, while the United States had ended production of most years earlier. This created a large talent pool in Canada.

The second reason was that it was cheaper to record the voice cast in Canada due to lower labour costs in the country.

The voice of Rudolph was recorded by Billie Mae Richards, who was born in Toronto.

She was credited as Billy Richards as producers did not want to disclose that a woman had done the voice. Later in life, she was the voice of Tenderheart Bear on The Care Bears.

Larry Mann voiced Yukon Cornelius and Bumble, who was born in Toronto and had many roles in films such as The Sting and The Heat Of The Night.

Paul Soles, born in Toronto, was the voice of Hermey in the movie. He was also the voice of Spider-Man in the Spider-Man animated series. He also co-hosted Take 30 for 18 years on CBC.

Other Canadian actors filling out the cast of the movie included:

Alfie Scopp - Various Male Elves, Charlie-in-the-Box

Paul Kligman - Donner and Coach Comet. Paul Klingman often worked with Wayne and Shuster.

Carl Banas - Head Elf, Misfit Toys. He also had roles in The Raccoons and Wojeck.

Bernard Cowan - Clarice's Father. He was a well-known Canadian announcer who worked shows such as Front Page Challenge, The Pierre Berton Show and Wayne and Shuster. He was also the cousin of Paul Soles.

Santa and Mama Claus were played by Canadians Stan Francis and Peg Dixon.

via Craig Baird

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