Thea White, the voice actress best known as the voice behind Muriel Bagge on Courage the Cowardly Dog, died at age 81 on Friday, July 30, 2021, a family member, Brad Zitzner, wrote in a tribute post on Facebook. The death was announced Sunday, August 1, 2021, and Zitzner said her cause of death was due to infection from surgery she underwent for liver cancer.
“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 da*n cancer),” he wrote.
White was born Thea Ruth Zitzner June 16, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey, according to IMDB. She was married to Andy White, her bio said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Thea White Recorded a Video Shortly Before Her Surgery & Said She Was Planning on a Swift Recovery
White died two days after she had surgery for liver cancer, her brother, John Zitzner, wrote in a Facebook post. He shared videos she recorded during her treatment. She was jovial and upbeat, and used her acting voice. She joked on one video that she would be recovered in five minutes if she was able to watch videos of the young children in her family playing in the ocean.
“That will speed my recovery. I’ll be up and Adam five minutes after they cut me open,” she joked. “Well, ish.”
Her surgery was to remove a tumor from her liver, John Zitzner wrote on Facebook. She had gone through one previous surgery as treatment for liver cancer just days before, his posts said.
“My sister recorded this prior to her surgery. She fought. She left us today at 11:05,” he captioned the video.
He shared another video she recorded from the hospital, where she was talking about plans for the future with her family. He wrote in the post that the video was recorded July 25, 2021, about five days after her first surgery.
“Wishing her family good times as some of us were in Chautauqua for a few days, contemplating she would join us later in the week,” John Zitzner captioned the video. “Her last breath was Friday July 30 at 11:05 am. 2 days after her second surgery.”
White’s Death Came Days After a Crossover With Courage the Cowardly Dog & Scooby-Doo Was Announced
Just days before White’s death, SyFy Wire dropped a trailer of an upcoming crossover feature between Courage the Cowardly Dog and Scooby-Doo.
“[The film] is definitely going to trigger acute nostalgia for those of us who grew up watching both Scooby-Doo and Courage shows, and it will also bring these wonderful characters to a new generation of viewers,” the project’s director/producer Cecilia Aranovich wrote in a statement, according to SyFy Wire.
Aranovich wrote that merging the two worlds was a challenge.
“Merging the two worlds in a cohesive manner was one of the most challenging aspects of production,” the statement continued, according to SyFy Wire. “But I feel we found the right balance by bringing in the design elements and the color palette from the Courage world, as well as infusing Scooby and the gang with the more over-the-top takes and reactions that are so characteristic of Courage. The movie is filled with Easter eggs from the first Courage series, and it is packed with quirky humor, offbeat characters, outlandish action scenes and, of course, the mystery factor that is inherent in every Scooby-Doo! plot.”
White Was Described as a Leader & a Cheerleader in Her Family
Brad Zitzner wrote a touching tribute to his family member, and described her as both a leader and a cheerleader in their family. He referred to her as “Feefer.”
“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,” he wrote. “Thanks Feefer for your leadership of your family. The roll 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.”
He went on to say that she was loved by many and that she fought hard to recover from cancer.
“I’ve never met a person who knew you who didn’t think you were the greatest person alive. That lasted even up through your stay in the hospital as I’m told the nurses and doctors also fell in love,” he wrote. “You loved life and even know I know the final outcome I love your decision to go for it and to try to win.”