Donald "Donnie" Roan Dunagan (born August 16, 1934) is an American former child actor and retired United States Marine Corps major. He is best known for portraying the young son of Baron Frankenstein in Son of Frankenstein and for providing the voice of young Bambi in Bambi (1942).

Donnie Dunagan
Dunagan in October 2014
Donald Roan Dunagan

(1934-08-16) August 16, 1934 (age 89)
Years active1938–1942 (as an actor)
Military career
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1952–1977
Rank Major
AwardsBronze Star
Purple Heart

As of 2023, he and Peter Behn (the voice of young Thumper) are the only two surviving cast members of Bambi.

Biography Edit

Dunagan was born in San Antonio, Texas, United States, but his family soon moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where they struggled with poverty.[1] There, when he was at the age of three-and-a-half, he won a talent contest prize of $100. Spotted by a studio talent scout, the family moved to Hollywood, where Dunagan appeared in a series of films[2] and soon became his family's main breadwinner. After he provided the voice for the titular character in Walt Disney's Bambi (1942), he retired from voice acting.[3]

By the age of 13, Dunagan lived in a boarding house and worked as a lathe operator. In 1952, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.[4] He became the Marines' youngest-ever drill instructor[5][dubious ] and served three tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded several times, before finally retiring with the rank of major in 1977.[5]

For Dunagan's service, he received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Dunagan kept his acting career a secret while serving in the Marines,[5] but in 2004, he was located and exhaustively interviewed by horror film historian Tom Weaver in a special "Donnie Dunagan issue" of Video Watchdog magazine. He is retired and currently[as of?] lives in San Angelo, Texas, with his wife.

Awards and decorations Edit

1st Row Bronze Star Medal Purple Heart
2nd Row Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ Combat V Army Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ 2 award stars
3rd Row Combat Action Ribbon Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 service star Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
4th Row Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal w/ 3 service stars National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
5th Row Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 service stars Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation Vietnam Campaign Medal
Badges Rifle Expert Badge Pistol Expert Badge

Filmography Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "A Discussion With Donnie Dunagun: The Voice Of Bambi". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Murray, Angus Wolfe (2011). "A profile of Donnie Dunagan, The Voice of Bambi". Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  3. ^ NPR Staff (July 31, 2015). "Major Bambi: Meet The Marine Who Was Disney's Famous Fawn". NPR.
  4. ^ Brooks, Xan (February 16, 2005). "How Bambi fought the Viet Cong". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Westbrook, Bruce (March 7, 2005). "Marine reflects on being the voice of Bambi". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 9 April 2012.

External links Edit