Australian-born actor Laurence “Laurie” Main, the voice of Dr. Watson in the 1986 Disney cartoon movie The Great Mouse Detective, died February 8 in Los Angeles. He was 89.
Long associated with Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh” character, he was host and narrator of the Disney Channel’s Welcome to Pooh Corner, a 1980s series combining live action and puppets.
He also narrated the Disney animated shorts Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons (1981) and Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983). In the voice cast of the 1999 cartoon video Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving, he also was the story reader on many Disney Read-Along tapes and CDs.
Main voiced Reggie on Ruby-Spears Productions’ The Incredible Detectives, a half-hour 1979 program that aired as an ABC Weekend Special.
He was in the voice casts of the Hanna-Barbera Australia TV-movies 5 Weeks in a Balloon (1977) and Black Beauty (1978), along with the series Monchhichis and The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (both 1983) and The Yogi Bear Show (1988).
Born Laurence G. Main in Melbourne on November 29, 1929, he left home at 16. Later, he moved to England. There, his repertory theater work included Diary of a Nobody.
After Main arrived in the United Stated in 1960, he studied acting with Agnes Moorehead. His Broadway debut came in First Impressions (1959); that year, he played opposite Eartha Kitt in Jolly’s Progress. Other Broadway productions included 1963’s Lord Pengo and 1978’s 13 Rue de l’Amour.
Main appeared in many live-action movies, including Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Freaky Friday and Mom and Dad Save the World.
He appeared in such TV shows as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Bewitched, Family Affair, Mayberry R.F.D., That Girl and Facts of Life Goes to Paris.