REDDING, Conn. -- Happy Birthday to Redding’s Fred Newman!
Newman, who has owned a home in Redding, turns 64 on Friday. The actor, voice actor, composer, comedian, and sound effects artist was born May 6, 1952, in LaGrange, Ga.
Newman's first job in New York City was at Newsweek. After doing stand-up comedy, he capitalized on his unique vocalizations, and Peter Workman of Workman Publishing signed him to write the bestselling book MouthSounds.
Newman is an actor and sound effects artist on Garrison Keillor's live radio variety show "A Prairie Home Companion." He has also done character voices and sounds effects as a voice actor in numerous film, television, and video game credits, including "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "Doug," "Grand Theft Auto 2," "Harry and the Hendersons," "Gremlins," "Munchies," "Storybook World," "Wolf" and "Men in Black."
He worked with Jim Henson and the Muppets in the 1980s, first as a contributor to Muppet Magazine, and then as the writer of the "Muppet Show On Tour" live show.
In 1987, he played the lead role in Henson's CBS sitcom pilot "Puppetman" and also appeared in a 1988 Henson direct-to-video special called "Neat Stuff to Know & to Do."
As an on-camera performer, he was the co-host of "The All New Mickey Mouse Club" (1989-1994), which launched the careers of Britney Spears, Keri Russell, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, and Ryan Gosling, among others. As a musician, he has composed music for the animated series "Doug and PB&J Otter," and wrote songs for "Doug's 1st Movie."
Newman won CableACE Awards in 1983 and Daytime Emmy Awards in 2004, 2008 and 2009.