Thea White, the voice artist to played Muriel in Courage The Cowardly Dog died this Friday at the age of 81.
Brother John Zitzner broke the news on Facebook, stating that White had been diagnosed with liver cancer months before. After two operations in July, she died “peacefully” on Friday at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, according to her husband’s account.
Zitzner posted a video message from White before her operation in his original post.
Muriel, the old woman who owned the fearsome pink dog along with her grumpy husband in Cartoon Network’s animated series, was voiced by White, who began her career as a stage actress. Debuting in 1999, she repeated her role in many short films and video games between 2002 and 2005. Also in 2011, she portrayed Aunt Margaret in Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur. “I’m looking forward to watching Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog,” Zitzner said on Facebook.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Thea Ruth Zitzner was born on June 16 in Newark, New Jersey. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and the American Theatre Wing in New York. As Marlene Dietrich’s personal assistant, she was hired by her future husband Andy White, who played drums for Dietrich’s performance act. She has worked in the entertainment industry ever since. Muriel, the show’s lead, needed someone with a Scottish accent, and White’s husband was Scottish.
According to a February interview, White disclosed that she owned a dog named Courage. It shocked her, too, how much small children like being terrified.
‘Could you kindly encourage them to produce more Courage the Cowardly Dog and make it worse and scarier?’ asked a 7-year-old kid in a fan letter.
Zitzner said on Facebook that White is survived by her two brothers and “many” other family members. Andy Dietrich, who played drums for Dietrich and recorded with the Beatles, passed away in 2015.