Voice actress Heather North has died at the age of 71. The actress, best known as the official voice of Daphne Blake from Scooby Doo for over three decades, is survived by four children.
While not the first actress to lend her voice to Daphne Blake (that honor goes to Stefanianna Christopherson), Heather North was widely considered to be the definitive voice of the character by fans of the show and animation scholars. North assumed the role of Daphne during the second season of the original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? cartoon series. She continued to provide the voice for Daphne in every original Scooby Doo cartoon series in the 1970s and 1980s, up until 1985’s The Thirteen Ghosts Of Scooby Doo. She would return to voice the character in a 1997 episode of Johnny Bravo and two direct-to-video Scooby Doo movies in 2003 – Scooby Doo And The Legend Of The Vampire and Scooby Doo And The Monster Of Mexico.
THR confirmed North’s death, which followed an extended battle with an unspecified illness, according to family friend, Jodie Mann. North died on November 30, in her home in Studio City, California.
Despite being best known for her role as Daphne Blake, North enjoyed a long and varied career. A regular fixture on network television in the 1960s and 1970s, North appeared in guest roles on Mr. Novak, Adam-12, Gidget, The Fugitive, Ironside, The Monkees and My Three Sons. North also premiered on Broadway in 1967, as part of the original cast of the short-lived stage comedy The Girl In The Freudian Slip. Cast in the role of Leslie Maugham, North beat out Bernadette Peters for the coveted role.
North famously played the love interest of Kurt Russell’s character in the 1971 Disney film The Barefoot Executive – a comedy in which Russell’s character exploits the ability his neighbor’s pet chimpanzee has for selecting successful television programs. North also appeared in 1965 comedy Git! and the 1970 film I Love My Wife.
North’s most famous live-action role, however, was that of Sandy Horton, on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. It was while working on Days Of Our Lives that North met her husband, Wes Kenney, who worked as a director and producer on the series. The two married in 1971, remaining together until Kenney’s death in 2015, at the age of 89.