Junius Matthews

Junius Conyers Matthews (June 12, 1890 – January 18, 1978)[1] was an American actor in films, theater, radio and television. He was the voice of Archimedes the Owl in Disney's The Sword in the Stone in 1963. He was also the original voice of Rabbit in the Winnie the Pooh franchise from 1966 to 1977.

Junius Matthews
Junius Conyers Matthews

(1890-06-12)June 12, 1890
DiedJanuary 18, 1978(1978-01-18) (aged 87)
Resting placeForest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery
Years active1917–1978


Matthews began his acting career on Broadway in shows like Young Wisdom (1914) and Any House (1916) before he got his first role in a silent film called The Silent Witness (1917). He briefly stopped performing while serving as a private in World War I. Over the course of the 1920s he alternated between stage and radio productions. He later played the role of the Tin Woodsman on a radio version of The Wizard of Oz. His distinctive voice can be frequently heard in supporting roles in radio, particularly westerns where he was often cast as an old codger, miner, or master of the cook wagon. Matthews appeared on the short-lived series Luke Slaughter of Tombstone as Slaughter's sidekick, Wichita, and played Ling Wee, a Chinese waiter, in Gasoline Alley. He also made guest appearances on several television series in the 1950s and 1960s.

Winnie the PoohEdit

It was not until the last ten years of his life that Matthews became widely known for his role as Rabbit in the Winnie the Pooh movies produced by the Disney studio from 1966 to 1977, including the featurettes Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! (1974) as well as the feature-length compilation film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977). He played other roles for Disney, most notably the owl, Archimedes, in Disney's The Sword in the Stone (1963).[2] After his death in 1978, first Will Ryan and then Ken Sansom took over the role as the voice of Rabbit.[3]


Matthews died on January 18, 1978, at age 87 and was buried in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery.[4][5][6]


Year Title Role Notes
1917 The Silent Witness Bud Morgan
1943 Seeds of Freedom Speaker
1946 Without Reservations Charlie Potter Uncredited
Black Angel Dr. Courtney
I've Always Loved You Little Man Uncredited
1947 The Shocking Miss Pilgrim Mr. Carter Uncredited
1949 Chicken Every Sunday Deacon Wilson Uncredited
1951 Half Angel Timid Man Uncredited
1952 My Wife's Best Friend Rev. Dr. Smith Uncredited
1955 Good Morning, Miss Dove Mr. Pruitt Uncredited
1957 Jeanne Eagels Court Clerk Uncredited
1958 The Lineup Jeffers Uncredited
1959 A Summer Place Mr. Hamble Uncredited
1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians Scottie Voice, uncredited
1963 The Sword in the Stone Archimedes The Owl Voice[1]
1966 Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree Rabbit Voice[1]
1968 Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Voice[1]
1974 Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! Voice[1]
1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Voice, (final film role)[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Junius Matthews". Voice Chasers. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  2. ^ "Did You Know? 10 Wizard Facts About Walt Disney's the Sword in the Stone". December 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Utah actor Ken Sansom, voice of 'Pooh's' Rabbit, dies at 85". The Salt Lake Tribune. Media News Group. October 11, 2012. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "Junius Matthews (1890–1978) – Find a Grave".
  5. ^ "Here's What Happened to Disney's Original 'Winnie the Pooh' Voice Cast". August 3, 2020.
  6. ^ "Julius Matthews – 2 Character Images". Behind The Voice Actors.

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