Franklin Wendell Welker (b. March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. On The Simpsons, he was primarily responsible for giving barks to Santa's Little Helper, meows to Snowball II and other animal noises. He left sometime in 2006 for unknown reasons and most of his vocal duties were taken over by Dan Castellaneta. He is responsible for a broad spectrum of character voices, noises, and other vocal effects that have appeared over the last 40 years in American television and motion pictures. He is listed as the number one "All Time Top 100 Stars at the Box office" in terms of the total revenue the films he has participated in have generated, a title previously held by Samuel L. Jackson.
Welker was born in Denver, Colorado. He attended college in California, where he later began his professional career appearing in commercials. While in college he appeared in numerous plays, and developed a stand-up comedy act which got him started on the concert circuit touring with The Righteous Brothers and Sergio Mendes. He continued with stand up, appearing in places including Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe as the opening act for headliners like Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross, Loretta Lynn, Ann Margaret and Neil Sedaka.
Welker's first film role was as a bar fight participant in Stan Dragoti’s Dirty Little Billy. He played a college kid from Rutgers University in the Elvis Presley picture The Trouble with Girls. He later co-starred with Don Knotts in Universal’s How to Frame a Figg. Welker also participated in two Disney films, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and Now You See Him, Now You Don't.
His on camera television appearances included Love American Style, The Partridge Family and The Don Knotts Show. He played a prosecutor in highly acclaimed ABC special The Trial of General Yamashita and as Captain Pace beside Richard Dreyfuss' Yossarian in Paramount television’s pilot, Catch-22. He appeared on Laugh In, The Dean Martin Roast, The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, The Smothers Brothers Show, The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour and Laugh Trax. In the latter show, he was a cast member alongside Jim Staahl and Howie Mandel.
Welker has been referred to as a "voice acting god" (by John DiMaggio and Billy West in the DVD commentary for Futurama) in Hollywood for the sheer number of voices he has done — over 1,200 — ranging from his work on Scooby-Doo to the present day. His voice acting credits include television shows and films such as Curious George, Aladdin, Pocahontas and computer games such as the Baldur's Gate series, New Super Mario Bros and CarnEvil.
In the Transformers television series, he voiced eight of the original 14 Decepticons as well as the Autobots Mirage and Trailbreaker. With the release of the animated film in 1986, he took on the role of the Autobot Wheelie and afterwards, took over the role of Galvatron, (which Welker had originated) from Leonard Nimoy. Having already provided the screams for Nimoy's character Mr. Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, this marked the second time he had inherited a role from Nimoy.
Welker did more live action movies during the 1990s. Among his work includes vocal effects for the character of Sil in Species, Goro in 1995's Mortal Kombat, the Devil in 1985's The Golden Child, and Malebolgia in 1997's Spawn. Welker also provided the voice (both speaking and non-speaking) of Nibbler in the cartoon TV series Futurama and was also the voice of Snot Tiger in the 2006 Walt Disney animated film The Fox and the Hound 2.
As of 2002, Welker is the voice of both Fred Jones and Scooby Doo. This includes the What's New, Scooby-Doo?, and the series-based spinoff, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!.
His most well known character is Garfield in Garfield Gets Real, the first in a series of new Garfield DVDs.
In 2009, Welker once again did a role in front of the camera in the film The Informant, where he has a cameo role playing the father of Matt Damon's character.
He voiced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Epic Mickey. In Aladdin, he voiced Abu the monkey and Rajah the tiger. He also voiced the Cave Of Wonders tiger head. In Pocahontas, he voiced Flit the hummingbird. In The Tigger Movie he also voiced Bees and Frogs.
- Bart's Dog Gets an F as Santa's Little Helper
- Lisa's Pony as Princess
- Dog of Death as Santa's Little Helper
- Treehouse of Horror IV as Gremlin
- Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song as Santa's Little Helper
- Two Dozen and One Greyhounds as Santa's Little Helper, She's the Fastest, Greyhound Puppies
- Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily as Santa's Little Helper, Monkey, various animals
- The Canine Mutiny as Laddie
- In Marge We Trust as Baboons
- Homer's Enemy as Executive Vice President
- Treehouse of Horror X as Ned Flanders
- E-I-E-I-D'oh as Barnyard Animals
- Alone Again, Natura-Diddily as Parrot
- Last Tap Dance in Springfield as Cougar
- A Tale of Two Springfields as Badger, Flanders' pet woodpecker
- Treehouse of Horror XI as Dolphins, Three Bears
- Simpson Safari as African Animals
- Simpsons Tall Tales as Babe the Blue Ox, other animals
- The Lastest Gun in the West as Mean dog
|Dan Castellaneta | Julie Kavner | Nancy Cartwright | Yeardley Smith | Hank Azaria | Harry Shearer|
|Pamela Hayden | Tress MacNeille | Maggie Roswell | Russi Taylor | Karl Wiedergott | Christopher Collins | Doris Grau | Jo Ann Harris | Marcia Mitzman Gaven|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Kelsey Grammer | Maurice LaMarche | Joe Mantegna | Marcia Wallace | Greg Berg | Albert Brooks | Phil Hartman | Jan Hooks | Jane Kaczmarek | Jon Lovitz | Frank Welker|