Larry D. Mann, best remembered for supplying the voice of Yukon Cornelius in the perennial animated holiday favorite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, died on Monday in Los Angeles of age-related causes according to his son Richard, reports CBS News. He was 91.
Mann’s gruff but endearingly friendly voice of the robustly red-bearded Cornelius remains part of memorable set pieces among a sea of many in the special, as generations of fans fondly remember the character each annual airing. The special originally aired on NBC-TV during the 1965 Christmas Season and set the template for many of the stop-motion “Animagic” (the process of animating figures to create a seamless movement) specials to follow, mostly mired in Christmas themes.
The Canadian-born Mann was also a live-action actor, having had appeared in minor roles in films like the Academy Award-winning The Sting and In the Heat of the Night. Television work included stints on Bewitched, Gunsmoke, and Hill Street Blues.
With Mann’s passing, the viewing of Rudolph will seem a little more melancholy now, but it’s wonderful to know that the character of Yukon Cornelius and the fond memories as kids and as adults we have of that character and the Rudolph special in particular, keeps Larry D. Mann’s lantern still aglow.
RIP Larry D. Mann
December 18, 1922 – January 6, 2014