Q&A Roundtable Interview with Donnie Dunagan (the voice of young Bambi) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
March 3, 2011 by J!-ENT
With the release of “Bambi: Diamond Edition” on Blu-ray and DVD, J!-ENT’s Dennis A. Amith recently took part in a Q&A roundttable interview with Donnie Dunagan, who voiced the character of young Bambi back in 1942.
For Donnie (Don) Dunagan, he was given a chance to take part in a role of a lifetime, being the voice of “Bambi” for Walt Disney Studios.
But things were never that easy in the beginning. Donnie and his parents lived in Memphis and at three-years-old, he was taught to tap dance and when he was entered at a talent contest, he won the $100 prize and he also caught the attention of a movie talent scout who happened to be in the audience.
Donnie and his family were given the chance to come to Hollywood by train and from 1938 to 1941, Donnie would be in the movies and starring in films such as “Mother Carey’s Chickens” (1938), “Son of Frankenstein” (1939) and in 1941, providing the voice of young Bambi for Walt Disney.
But instead of focusing on entertainment, Donnie focused on education and attended the University of Alabama on a football scholarship and then transferred to Virginia Tech to focus on a science degree.
With the Korean War and the draft happening, Donnie volunteered as a marine. He was sent back to college by the Marines to complete his education and he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering.
After he graduated and completed boot camp, Donnie became a Private, First Class and became a boot camp Drill Instructor, the youngest Assistant Drill Instructor (a Marine Sergeant at age 19) and into the Navy’s Military Law-Justice School for JAG officers at the War College in Rhode Island, followed by the Army’s training program for CIC special agents.
While serving his country, Dunagan was combat wounded twice while leading a patrol and commanding units in Vietnam.
Dunagan continued his education with a Masters degree in Engineering Management with honors at the University of Vermont at Burlington and became a candidate for a Ph.D. in Mathematics before leaving the U.S. Intelligence Agency private sector.
Throughout his education and time in the military, Dunagan kept his acting career private, especially his childhood role as the voice of Bambi until after he left the military in 1977.
Since then, Dunagan who is on semi-retirement keeps busy in mentoring and consulting the underprivileged and now enjoys talking about his young life in Hollywood, working with Walt Disney and being the voice of an iconic character.
J!-ENT recently took part in a Q&A press interview with both Donnie Dunagan. Click here to read the article.
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