Mysterious, Elusive Chris Allen

July 16, 2002:

Hoppity Hooper

(Page One)

Dear Brian:

So sorry I haven't written sooner but I didn't really receive either of your two letters until just this last week, when I returned from an extended trip through British Columbia. I am leaving again, on Thursday, for a year's study abroad (mostly Europe, but I will be going to Africa as well). So I decided I'd better dash off a quick reply to such an enthusiastic fan, before I get back to my packing...............

(Page Six)

How could I fail to answer someone who has gone to so much trouble to find me? main claim to fame is that crazy frog and how many frogs do you know who have fans? Not I have to treat those I have with great care...........

P.S.: I hope this six page letter makes up for not writing sooner. You will forgive a busy, old frog, now........won't you?


For those who do not already know (and have not seen our feature, Honorable Mentions: The Other Voices), Chris Allen did the voice of Hoppity Hooper. Ms. Allen was one of the very few actresses, outside of June Foray, who worked for Jay Ward cartoons. This article is a reversal of our decision to omit a tribute to her. We mentioned that she was first and foremost a writer, and did very little voice work, over the years. After much thought, I felt that a write-up was absolutely necessary.

It appears that there is a great deal of speculation about Chris Allen. No pictures seem to be available, anywhere (and she did not send me a photo, in her April 28th letter of 1974). Even Keith Scott, the Jay Ward historian, wondered whether or not Ms. Allen was still alive, in The Moose That Roared. Her IMDB filmography does not really provide very much information either. Her filmography also does not give any personal data (place of birth or even her date of birth).

In mulling this over, I realized that I might possibly have more information about Chris Allen, than anyone else in the world!! Her six-page letter, was indeed quite prolific. She definitely "rose to the occasion" and proved that she was every bit "A Writer".

I gave this article a lot of thought and decided that I wanted it to be special and unique; especially since Ms. Allen might not be the first voice artist, whom a lot of people would wish to read about. Granted, it would be very rewarding, and exciting, for me to re-read her letter a couple times, and try to "carve out" a summary of her key points in my own words.......and offer my own opinions, as I often do. It would be neat to approach summarizing her letter, in the same manner in which a sculptor creates a statue or as Monet painted so many of his beautiful French masterpieces, at the turn of last century.

In the end, however, I couldn't get past the idea of simply allowing Chris Allen to speak for herself. You could say that this feature could almost use a dual by-line (by Chris Allen and Brian Kistler). For this reason, what follows will some of the most interesting and colorful excerpts of her own letter from 4/28/74.

Note that some of the pause dots (...........) are mine (when I choose to skip some of what Chris wrote) and some are her own. She used these dots, quite a bit in her style of writing. The same thing can be said of parantheses. Some are mine (when I reword some of her comments to clear up a quote, out of context) and some are hers (which she just happened to use these in her letter):


(Page One)

I am a mature woman, my friend, with two children in college. My son, Greg, is 24.........My daugther, Cindy, is 21...........

(This was probably written to me, with a snicker, as I had asked her age----not quite as funny as what June Foray said, when I asked that-----she said that even her husband did not know her age----and sometimes even she (June) forgot how old she was, because she lied about it so much-----and she added that, as Ms. Gabor always said: "A woman who will tell her age will tell anything")

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