A longtime voice actor, John Fiedler made his mark upon the stage, film, and radio, in addition to notably voicing the beloved Piglet in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. Fiedler was born John Donald Fielder on February 3, 1925, in Platteville, Wisconsin, to beer salesman Donald Fiedler and wife Margaret. He also had a brother named James Fiedler. The family relocated to Shorewood, Wisconsin, in 1930, where Fiedler would continue his education and graduate from Shorewood High School in 1943.
After his graduation, Fiedler enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served through the end of World War II. Following his discharge, he pursued an acting career in Manhattan, appearing on radio in The Aldrich Family. He also carried out early television performances in the 1950s, namely portraying meek or nervous individuals. His film debut occurred in 12 Angry Men (1957), while a departure from his usual anxious roles would be in True Grit (1969) as a lawyer.
Among his distinct performances in his participation as an original cast member of the stage play A Raisin in the Sun, in which he portrayed a housing representative. He would execute the same role in the 1961 film and the 1988 television version. He also appeared in The Odd Couple (1968), Harper Valley PTA (1978), and Cannonball Run (1981). Fiedler made many television guest appearances in Twilight Zone, Columbo, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Munsters, and more.
In the 1970s and beyond, Fiedler collaborated frequently with Walt Disney Productions. He first lent his voice to Disney in Robin Hood (1973) as the church mice, among additional characters; The Rescuers (1976), The Fox and the Hound (1981), and The Emperor’s New Groove (2000), in addition to two live-action appearances. He also voiced Piglet in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), The Tigger Movie (2000), Piglet’s Big Movie (2003), and Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005).
Fiedler passed away on June 25, 2005, in Englewood, New Jersey, while residing at the Lillian Booth Actors Home. He was 80 years old. Interestingly, Paul Winchell, his co-star and voice of Tigger, passed away the previous day. Fiedler was cremated and scattered on Long Island. Since then, voice actor Travis Oates has carried on voicing the role of Piglet.
In relation to Fiedler’s life, his alma mater of Shorewood High School remains. It is located at 1701 E. Capitol Dr., Shorewood, Wisconsin.
Additionally, the Lillian Booth Actors Home is now the Actors Fund Home, continuing to assist American entertainment and performing arts professionals. It is located at 155-175 W. Hudson Ave., Englewood, New Jersey.
While few locations of relevance to Fiedler remain, his legacy lives on through his voice talent.
This post originally appeared in Annette’s Classic Movie Travels column for Classic Movie Hub. View the original article here.