Dick Nelson

born: 26 April 1917
Ottawa, Ontario,
died: 02 February 1982
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(age 64)

Canadian actor and impressionist, primarily of radio, who was known for his voice roles and skill at mimicry (his repertoire included impressions of Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore, Cary Grant, Wallace Beery, Maurice Chevalier, Jimmy Stewart, Charles Laughton, Ronald Colman, Peter Lorre, and Frank Morgan). Leaving his native Canada for New York at the age of 16, he found work there in radio and theatre. He then went to Hollywood where, in addition to continued radio work, he was a voice artist in theatrical cartoons for Walter Lantz (briefly voicing Woody Woodpecker), MGM (voicing George in Tex Avery's "Junior & George" cartoons), and Warner Bros. (working on a handful of Looney Tunes).
"Great Guns" was his only on-camera film role before he left to serve in World War II, after which he returned to his native Canada in 1947, beckoned home by the illness of his father (who would pass in May 1948), and continued to showcase his vocal skill in radio (with the duo of Wayne & Shuster) and nightclubs there. Nelson then returned to the United States sometime during 1950-51, and he was naturalized in New York City in September 1951. He relocated back to California shortly thereafter and did more radio and voice work for Lantz cartoons.
Though he was born Joseph Louis McGuire, he later went by the full name of Richard James Nelson. On his World War II draft registration card (16 Oct 1940), he claimed to be born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Real name: Joseph Louis McGuire
Height: 6'0"
Films listed on this page: 1 film with Laurel & Hardy.



Great Guns
Daniel Forrester

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8M9-SW3 (1924 manifest)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGFM-LQ2V (WWII draft reg. card)
1941 L.A. City Dir.: Nelson Richd actor r929 S Lake
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMFM-ZNZ (WWII enlistment)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8M9-SWQ (1947 manifest)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24TL-PWR (1950 admission card)
Richard James Nelson, "New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989" (Ancestry.com)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGB1-SNV (CA Death Index)
https://archive.org/details/variety166-1947-06/page/n35/mode/1up?q=%22dick+nelson%22&view=theater (Variety, 04 Jun 1947)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/420433835/ (The Gazette [Montreal, QUE, Canada], 09 Aug 1947)
https://archive.org/details/variety167-1947-08/page/n95/mode/1up?q=%22dick+nelson%22&view=theater (Variety, 13 Aug 1947)
https://archive.org/details/BMG_1947091901/page/n4/mode/1up?q=%22dick+nelson%22&view=theater (Blairmore Graphic, 19 Sep 1947)
https://archive.org/details/CBC_1947112701/page/n2/mode/1up?q=%22dick+nelson%22&view=theater (Carbon Chronicle, 27 Nov 1947)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/501260954/ (Windsor Star, 28 May 1948)
https://archive.org/details/deseronto-post-1949/page/n42/mode/1up?q=%22dick+nelson%22&view=theater (Deseronto Post, 09 Mar 1949)
https://archive.org/details/variety178-1950-04/page/n99/mode/1up?q=%22dick+nelson%22&view=theater (Variety, 12 Apr 1950)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8M9-SM7 (mother Donelda McGuire's 1924 manifest)
https://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/hello-all-you-happy-tax-payers-tex-averys-voice-stock-company/ (Cartoon Research article by Keith Scott)
https://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/guess-who-voice-artists-in-the-woody-woodpecker-cartoons/ (Cartoon Research article by Keith Scott)
Jesse Brisson (bio notes and research)

This page was last updated on: 01 May 2024