The Grinch

Cartoon Character / Fictional Villain

Born: 1957
Birthplace: Fiction
Best known as:

Animated TV grouch who "stole" Christmas

The Grinch is the Christmas-hating main character of a 1957 Dr. Seuss cartoon book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. A popular animated version of the story first appeared on television in 1966 and has been broadcast annually on U.S. networks ever since. It follows the Grinch as he becomes annoyed with sounds of holiday cheer emanating from Whoville, in the valley below his hilltop home. He decides to put an end to the merry-making by posing as Santa Claus and stealing all the gifts and trappings of Christmas. The result surprises him. The story has also been portrayed by human actors: in a movie starring Jim Carrey, released in 2000, and in a play that debuted on Broadway in 2006.

Extra credit:

The TV special, directed by Warner Brothers cartoon veterans Chuck Jones and Ben Washam, debuted on 18 December 1966 on CBS. Actor Boris Karloff, best known as the monster in the 1931 movie Frankenstein, provided the narrator's and Grinch's voices. Its signature musical solo, "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch," was done by professional singer and voiceover talent Thurl Ravenscroft, who also voiced Tony the Tiger in breakfast cereal commercials.

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