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Characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Updated on January 14, 2014

How Many Characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special Do You Know?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer continues to be a popular Christmas special. Although the stop-action movie based on a song about a reindeer with a glowing nose was originally released in 1964, both kids and adults still love it. How many characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer do you know? And what do you know about them? Here's a look at the main characters and the actors who provided their voices.

(Image of Rudolph characters from Christmas Specials Wiki)

The Main Characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special - Credited voices from the original special

  1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the star of this animated TV special, as well as the song that inspired it. The little reindeer has a nose that glows, and the other reindeer tease him and call him names. So he runs away and teams up with fellow misfit Hermey the Elf, who wants to be a dentist rather than build toys. Billy Mae Richards, a woman, was the voice of Rudolph, but she was credited in the film as Billy Richards to disguise the fact that Rudolph was played by a female voice actress. The Canadian voice actress went on to provide Rudolph's voice in the follow-up specials Rudolph's Shiny New year and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, as well as other well-known animated movies and TV series.

  2. Clarice the Doe

    Clarice the Doe is a young reindeer who has a crush on Rudolph and doesn't care about his nose. She later runs off with Rudolph's parents to look for him, and is captured by the Abominable Snow Monster before being rescued by Rudolph. Janice Orenstein was the speaking and singing voice for Clarice. IMDB lists only two acting credits for her before Rudolph and none after the special.

  3. Hermey the Elf

    What if you're an elf who doesn't like making toys? That was the dilemma of Hermey, the elf voiced by Paul Soles. Hermey wants to be a dentist, but runs off because he feels like a misfit who doesn't fit in with the other elves. He and Rudolph brave the cold Pole weather and Bumble the Abominable Snowman before finally returning to Santa's village, where Hermey's dream to open a dentist office comes true. Actor Paul Soles was the voice of the misfit elf. The Canadian actor has continued to appear in TV shows and movies, including the 1960s TV series Spider-Man, in which he was the voice of Spider-Man. Two other voice actors from Rudolph (Paul Kligman and Billie Mae Richards) were also involved in the series.

  4. Yukon Cornelius

    Yukon Cornelius, voiced by Larry Mann, is a prospector who runs into Rudolph and Hermey after they leave Santa's workshop. The prospector, who was seeking peppermint rather than silver or gold, ends up helping not only Rudolph and the elf, but also the Abominable Snow Monster of the North, who he nicknames Bumble. Mann is a Canadian character actor who has appeared in a variety of shows, from 1960s TV series such as Bewitched and The Man from U.N.C.L.E to 1990s series such as MacGyver.

  5. Santa Claus

    Stan Francis was the voice of Santa Claus in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In the animated special, Santa is taken aback when he first sees Rudolph's nose, and tells Donner that the little reindeer won't be able to pull his sleigh when he's older if his nose continues to shine and glow that way. Later, of course, Santa has a change of heart and realizes that Rudolph's nose can help him guide the sleigh through the foggy night. Prior to voicing Santa in the TV special, Stan Francis had appeared in 1950 TV series such as Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans and The Adventures of Tugboat Annie.

  6. Sam the Snowman

    Sam the Snowman is the banjo-playing, singing narrator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The snowman was designed as a caricature of Burl Ives, the folk singer and actor who was the voice of Sam the Snowman. The animated figure had Ives' trademark beard and girth. He sings a variety of songs in the special, including "A Holly Jolly Christmas," which later became a popular Christmas standard. In addition to lending his voice to the Rudolphspecial, Ives appeared in a number of movies, TV shows and Broadway plays, including playing Big Daddy Pollitt in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." He was also a commercial spokesperson for Luzianne tea for many years.

  7. Donner the Reindeer

    In this animated special, Donner was Rudolph's father, who tried to hide his shiny red nose with a black cover. The character was voiced by Paul Kligman. He was also the voice for Clarice's father and Comet the Coach. Kligman was an actor and voice actor who later became best known as the voice of J. Jonah Jameson in the 1960s animated Spider-Man TV series.

  8. Mrs. Donner

    Mrs. Donner was Rudolph's mom who was a minor character in the special. She was voiced by Peg Dixon, a voice actress who later went on to provide voices for a variety of animated TV series such as The Marvel Superheroes, Mighty Thor and Spider-Man. In Spider-Man she again worked with Paul Kligman and Paul Soles, who were also voice actors for the Rudolph special.

    (All images from Christmas Specials Wiki)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Character Toys - Classic characters as modern Funko POP Toys

Funko POP's big-headed vinyls character toys have become very popular, and now they've recreated the classic characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer into modern collectibles. These cute new versions of our old favorites make great stocking stuffers!

Funko Rudolph POP
Funko Rudolph POP

Everyone's favorite reindeer

Funko Bumble POP
Funko Bumble POP

Bumble is adorable, not scary

Funko Santa POP
Funko Santa POP

Here comes Santa Claus!


Personalized Letter from Rudolph and SantaMORE DETAILS

Kids will immediately recognize the characters from the 1964 Rankin-Bass animated TV on this special letter from Rudolph and Santa Claus. Customize it online with your child's information, and then wait for their surprise when they get this special gift straight from the North Pole.

Original Credits for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Characters - A clip from the original 1964 broadcast

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Who Are Your Favorite Characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? - Please share your thoughts

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    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Rudolph was always my favorite. I can remember watching this every year when I was growing up. The holiday specials and holiday cartoons were big events because we didn't have 24x7 cartoon channels like the kids do now.