Question: Eleanor Audley as Cruella and 101 Dalmatians LP

On the recent thread, "Why No HMH soundtrack?", Steve Carras mentioned that on a 1960's 101
Dalmatians LP, Eleanor Audley voiced the part of Cruella--I've got to get a hold of the LP, as Eleanor
Audley is one of my favorite "classic Disney" voices, and I'd love to hear rendition of yet another
villainess! As there seem to be a number of 101 Dalmatians releases during that time period, does
anyone know which one--or ones--has/have Eleanor as Cruella? I'm itchy to start some ebay

My co-author Greg Ehrbar and I were just discussing the 101 Dalmatians LP yesterday, and he said that Betty Lou Gerson plays Cruella on it, just as she does in the film. If there is an Eleanor Audley version of the character, I am not familiar with it. The narrator of that LP is the voice that really has us stumped; he also seems to be narrating two other LP's of the period, THE PRINCE & THE PAUPER and HANS BRINKER, but none of the other cast members can identify him.

Greg usually keeps up with these posts himself... so, how about it, pal? Are we on the right track with the Audley/Gerson bit?!

Incidentally, anyone interested in seeing Gerson on the screen should look up a cult Cold War film from the early 1950s titled THE RED MENACE. Gerson plays the head of a Communist ring trying to infiltrate the U.S.A. Her big scene comes when poetic justice causes her to go insane at the end, and as the authorities haul her away to the booby hatch, she raves and cackles in her Cruella voice. Quite surreal.


To my knowledge, Eleanor Audley did not play Cruella, but she did play the Snow White witch on the RCA Camden / Dennis Day version of Disney's Snow White. She also appeared on Green Acres, the Dick Van Dyke Show and many many radio shows. Betty Lou Gerson was the crazy old Granny lady in Mary Poppins.


Found while searching the internet:

Her distinctive voice, often compared to that of Talullah Bankhead, caught the attention of Walt Disney, who cast her as the narrator of his 1950 animated feature, "Cinderella." She returned to do the voice of Cruella De Vil in "101 Dalmatians" and had an on-screen cameo appearance in "Mary Poppins."


Which crazy old granny lady?
It's the old lady that Jane and Michael run into briefly when they are running away from the bank. She says, "Come with me, my dears. Granny will hide you!"
To my knowledge, Eleanor Audley did not play Cruella,

You may be right here. However both Disney and Hanna-Barbera DID have cast substitutions-one known example is HAUNTED MANSION, LADY AND TRAMP,etc.
Thanks for your responses on this question, Tim and Greg! Surprising--Steve seemed convinced that Eleanor Audley was voicing Cruella. I suppose it's just a reflection of the fact that in most cases, documentation of the various voices on the records of that time was spotty at best; sometimes the players(or SOME of them) were listed on the album cover, sometimes there was a listing on the record itself, and sometimes there was simply nothing! It's unfortunate that many wonderful artists were never given their much due credit; a premier example that always comes to mind, though not with regards to records, is the fact that I didn't know until my recent Disney "renaissance" that it was Thurl Ravenscroft singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," as he was never credited in the film! Maybe it was because the producers, or individuals involved, felt that these were "just children's records," and that the kids didn't care who was involved in the project--too bad they didn't realize that those kids would grow up and still be interested in the recordings, and that they would want to know whose voices were on the records that they so fondly remember! R. Michael Murray occasionally lists the voice actors/actresses involved on some of the Disney records, but wouldn't that be a great project to assemble a listing of the records, with all the artists involved--or would it be next to impossible, as some of the voices are now unknown?

Anyway, looks like I've got another recording to look after--Eleanor Audley as the witch/hag(and evil queen, assume?). Looks like the recording Greg is referring to was first released in 78 format, and then later as an LP on RCA-Camden--2 choices! Interesting that another Cinderella voice, Ilene Woods(Cinderella herself) was used in the Snow White recording.

Thanks everyone,