Clarence “Ducky” Nash never intended to become the speaking voice for an animated duck. Clarence, who played the voice of Donald Duck for more than 50 years, once explained, “Actually, I wanted to be a doctor; but instead I became the biggest quack in the world.”
Born in Watonga, Oklahoma, in 1904, Clarence grew up on a farm surrounded by animals, which he imitated for fun. He performed at school talent shows, getting big applause whenever he recited “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in his billy goat voice. After high school, he toured the Midwest as a mandolin player and animal impressionist on the Redpath Chautauqua and Lyceum vaudeville circuit.
By 1930, he moved to Los Angeles and won a spot on “The Merry Makers” radio show doing animal impressions, which led to a promotional job with a milk company. While working as “Whistling Clarence, the Adohr Birdman,” entertaining children from a traveling milk wagon, he decided to stop by The Walt Disney Studios, where he heard animal… read more