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Jinkies! Scooby Doo’s Daphne voice actor reveals she used a psychic to talk to her deceased predecessor

Grey DeLisle reflects on her special friendship with her Daphne predecessor Mary Kay Bergman.

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation

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What is the central theme of Scooby Doo? Is it ghosts? Mysteries? Could it even be food? (Oh, those Scooby Snacks!) I would argue that it’s friendship. The Mystery Inc. gang have been close friends since 1969, and there’s something comforting about that. However, one of the most heartwarming friendships in the Scooby Doo franchise happened offscreen.

Mary Kay Bergman began voicing Daphne Blake in the 1998 animated film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. This was followed by more animated films, a video game, and multiple Cartoon Network bumpers. After Bergman died in 1999, her close friend and acting student Grey DeLisle took over the role of Daphne. DeLisle has played the role for over 20 years and sees it as the ultimate tribute to her friend’s legacy.

During a press session at Dragon Con 2023, DeLisle reminisced about her friendship with Bergman.

“She was one of my dearest friends, and my first voiceover teacher. She was just so encouraging and wonderful. I wasn’t on anything when I first took a class with her. I had just gotten out of theatre school, and I was just so fresh and wide-eyed. She was the most nurturing and wonderful teacher. When I actually ended up getting roles, it was so exciting because I got to be working with my teacher,” DeLisle shared.

Even after Bergman’s passing, DeLisle came to find that her old mentor still had things left to teach her.

“She loved the Pirate of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, and I got called back to be the voice of Pirate Redd. I was at the callback at Disney Character Animation, and I was like, ‘Oh Mary Kay, this was your place, you were always here. What advice would you give me?’ I felt her telling me to prepare more.”

Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo
Image credit: Warner Brothers Animation

DeLisle took that message to heart and began researching pirate slang. This came in handy when the producers asked her to improv pirate dialogue for 30 minutes.

“Thank goodness Mary Kay had me do that! The day I booked the role, I called her husband Dino Andrade. He said ‘Well, you know it’s the anniversary of Mary Kay’s passing today.’ I always feel like she’s my little red-haired guardian angel,” DeLisle said.

According to DeLisle, their bond is so strong that even death hasn’t severed their connection.

“I went to a psychic, and he was a medium, and he said ‘There’s a woman here who does the same weird job you do. I don’t know your job, but she had that job when she lived. And in my mind, I’m seeing her hand you this little plant, and in your hands, I see you take it, and I’m watching it grow into this big plant. Do you understand that? She just wanted to say how proud she is of you, and that she’s with you all the time.’ And I was amazed,” DeLisle recalled.

Before DeLisle could take it all in, the psychic had another surprise for her. “He said, ‘There’s another lady here who has a weird name like Rooshie or Sheeshie. She says you’re going to do the same thing for her.’ Well, Russi Taylor had just passed away,” DeLisle said.

Russi Taylor had been the voice of Martin Prince on The Simpsons, and shortly after the psychic session, DeLisle took over the role. “He couldn’t have looked that up on the internet or anything. I hadn’t even auditioned for that.”

Whether you believe in psychics or not, there is something heartwarming about DeLisle and Bergman’s friendship. Not only is DeLisle’s portrayal of Daphne the ultimate tribute to Bergman’s legacy, but it also keeps her connected to her late friend. It’s a sweet thought to consider next time you watch Scooby Doo.


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Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar
Joshua Lapin-Bertone: Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.
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