Happy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is voiced by Otis Harlan

Character Actor Otis Harlan, the Voice of Happy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is Born

A happy event happened on this day in 1865, when Otis Harlan was born in Zanesville, Ohio. Although he would go on to provide the voice of Happy in the 1937 animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he already had a long successful acting career by that time. Otis began his theatrical career as a comedian in farce comedies in the last 1800s and went on to appear in numerous roles. Today’s film buffs may recall his performances as Cap’n Andy in 1929’s Show Boat, Starveling in 1935’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in the 1937 Our Gang comedy short Roamin’ Holiday. Far from bashful and never delivering a sleepy performance, perhaps nobody was ever better suited to play the role of a character named Happy. In the book Famous Stars of Light Opera, published in 1900, Otis was described as “the personification of jest and merriment. Think of him trying to do anything seriously! He radiates fun and jollity; they shine from a joy-smitten countenance, are reflected from eyes that suggest practical jokes and antics of all sorts, and especially are they found in a bubbling, infectious laugh, full of ripples and good nature, that flows from Mr. Harlan’s mouth on every possible and impossible occasion, like champagne from an uncorked bottle.” With a description like that it would have been dopey to cast anybody else as Happy.