Voice actress Thea White, known for voicing Muriel Bagge on Courage the Cowardly Dog, died “peacefully of complications from surgery” related to liver cancer on Friday morning in Cleveland, according to her brother John Zitzner. She was 81.
White’s nephew Brad Zitzner gave insight into her final moments via social media.
“Sadly we lost our legendary Feefer (the voice of Muriel) on Friday morning after she fought hard with courage to try to beat her liver cancer and to resume life or to die trying. (She ended up with an infection after cutting out the damn cancer),” he shared on Saturday.
White was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1940 and knew she wanted to act from an early age. Both her mother, Eleanor Hazard, and her grandmother, Eva, were involved in vaudeville—both as performers while the latter focused on booking talent later in her career.
After high school, White studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the American Theatre Wing. She took on various jobs while shaping her craft that one day led to a chance meeting with Marlene Dietrich who offered her a job as her personal assistant while touring Australia.
After an injury forced Dietrich into retirement, White returned to the United States. She married Scottish drummer Andy White in 1983 and took a job as a librarian. They were married until his death in 2015.
Her return to acting was on the Cartoon Network series Courage the Cowardly Dog which premiered in 1999. She voiced Scottish grandmother Muriel Bagge until 2002. Other voiceover credits include work in Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog and the TV series Pecola.