For over a generation, Kenneth Sansom has been the voice of one of America’s most beloved bunnies: Winnie the Pooh’s “Rabbit.”
Ken began acting in the early seventies in an episode of Mayberry R.F.D., a continuation of the Andy Griffith Show. Other roles included The Chipmunks, Maude, Newhart, Charlie’s Angels, and Days of our Lives.
Rabbit has figured prominently in his career, and it is the role he is known best for.
So, go fill up your bowl with a sugary cereal, sit on the sofa, and watch a cartoon! (Rabbit appears at about the 1:01 mark in the video below):
Who was Rabbit? According to Wikipedia:
Unlike most of the cast in the books, who are based on stuffed animals owned by Christopher Robin Milne, the illustrations of Rabbit look more like a living animal than a stuffed one. This idea is also supported by Rabbit’s own comment to Owl, “You and I have brains. The others have fluff.” In Ernest H. Shepard’s illustrations, Rabbit appears like a typical, long-eared rabbit, except that he walks on two legs and uses his front paws as hands. The top of his head reaches about to Pooh’s nose; his ears, when pointed straight up, reach to just above Pooh’s head. While loyal to the friends he knows, Rabbit shows a certain reluctance to welcome newcomers, as evidenced by his initial negative reaction to the arrival of Kanga and Roo in the first book, and to Tigger in the second book. Nonetheless, he warms up to all of them in time.
Rabbit likes to take charge and come up with elaborate plans, such as the one to scare Kanga by hiding Roo, and the one to “un-bounce” Tigger. He is also an organizer, as in the case of the Search for Small. As detailed as his plans are, they often miss certain key points, and thus go wrong in one way or another.
Rabbit tends to include Pooh and Piglet in his plans, and he goes to Owl when there is “thinking to be done”. He sees his relationship to Christopher Robin as being the one that Christopher depends on. Rabbit also has good relationships with the minor animals in the forest, who are usually referred to as his “friends-and-relations”. Several are mentioned by name, including a wasp called Small, a beetle named Alexander Beetle, another member of the beetle family named Henry Rush, and three unspecified creatures called Smallest-of-All, Late, and Early. According to the illustrations of the book, his other friends-and-relations include other rabbits, a squirrel, a hedgehog, some mice, and insects. At one point, Rabbit estimates that he would need “seventeen pockets” if he were going to carry all his family about with him; whether that number refers just to his relatives or to the friends-and-relations as a group is unknown, if it had any basis at all.
Rabbit lives in a house in the north central part of the Hundred Acre Wood, between the sandy pit where Roo plays and the area where his friends-and-relations live.