Saturday, August 6, 2011

Super ‘70s and ‘80s: “Super Friends”—B.J. Ward (Wonder Woman 3)

Introduction to series “Super ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Introduction to subseries "Super Friends" (including a list of interviewees).

How’d you get the part?

I guess I had to audition. They wanted a real butch gal. I had heard the soundalikes that they wanted. What I remember is that they liked the sound but not the acting [of other potentials].

hat do you remember about the experience?

It was always fun when I could be real butch. “I’m more of a man than you’ll ever be, Superman!” Because mostly I played the real ingénue. [In the SF era], you had to be able to do at least three voices for the price of one. Then they fought hard and now they get only two voices out of you. So not really a win for SAG.

Did you make any suggestions or requests when doing the character?

I’m sure I did. I’m very mouthy.

What do you remember about your SF cast members? (I named names.)

I’ve always played opposite Michael Bell. We’ve always played boyfriend and girlfriend. I learned a lot from him. Jana of the Jungle was my first series at H-B. [short anecdote about how Jana spoke different languages to each animal and Michael coaching her on what a narwhal might sound like] I see Michael a lot and I teach his daughter voice lessons. Singing.
Bill Callaway—a good thing about him, if he found something offensive in a script, he wouldn’t do the whole series. And he was a hard-working actor but wasn’t rich. [Similarly, about scripts with certain types of characters], Casey Kasem would ask, “Does it have to be an Arab?”

Do you still have any SF scripts or other memorabilia?

Don’t have a single script. There would be garbage dumpsters out in the parking lot filled with cels. Then when Ted Turner took over they had guards and they’d look in your trunk for cels. Used to be like a family, a mom and pop thing with Joe and Bill. Then the corporation came in and fired people over a certain age and asked how many pencils you’re using.

Do you have any WW fan letters?

No, but I went to this G.I. Joe convention few months ago and had a bunch of Wonder Woman pics made up and Michael Bell and I came in.

That was the first one you’ve done?

Yes, that was the first.

Would you be open to doing other conventions?

I might be. Depends on where it was and what I was doing. Maybe they should have all the Wonder Women and put them in a ring and see who’s really the strongest. [I mentioned Shannon.] Darlene Carr [sister of Shannon and of Charmian Carr, who played the oldest daughter in The Sound of Music] is a friend of mine. It’s a very talented family.

If you have children/grandchildren, what do they think about your time as Wonder Woman?

I don’t think they know anything about it because I’ve done a lot. The ‘80s and ‘90s were the heyday of cartoon voices.

Are you still doing voices?

I am. For animation, commercials. I’m on the Curious George show.

Next: Bill Callaway (Aquaman 2, Bizarro).

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