Thea White, voice of Muriel Bagge in ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog, dies at 81

Voice actress Thea White, known for portraying the soft-spoken Muriel Bagge on Cartoon Network’s Courage the Cowardly Dog, has died at 81 due to complications from surgery-related liver cancer on Friday morning, per her brother John Zitzner on Friday. Zitzner also posted a video that White recorded prior to her passing.

In the video, White asked her audience to send photos of the family “frolicking in the ocean” to “speed her recovery” from her recent surgery.

Insights behind her death were also posted on social media by her nephew Brad Zitzner on Saturday. 

“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),” his post read. “Feefer was the greatest cheerleader to me and my family. We just arrived back to Ohio to get home to Jackson and the pain is so deep.”

“Thanks Feefer for your leadership of your family. The role you have taken with my kids and all your family sadly can’t be replaced. I can see hundreds of fan tributes already online so your love was shared far and wide.”

Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1940, White has always been vocal about her passion to act ever since she was young. She studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the American Theatre Wing, then later served as the personal assistant for German-American actress Marlene Dietrich. She retired from acting after marrying her husband in 1983.

White would return 16 years later, though, to lend her voice to Scottish grandmother Muriel Bagge in the animated series Courage the Cowardly Dog. The show ran for four seasons on Cartoon Network from 1999 to 2002. White’s last role was reprising the character in the recently announced crossover film Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog.

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