Qantas Airways Remembers Actor/Director Howard Morris, the Voice of the Qantas Koala.
The Qantas koala commercials, which ran from 1967 - 1992, originally featured a furry and cute little koala sitting amidst the branches of a eucalyptus tree where the voice of Morris as the koala is heard muttering, "I hate Qantas!" for bringing in the large number of tourists who come to Australia and disturb his solitude. The campaign became so popular that the koala has since become one of the most identifiable symbols of the airline and the land down under.
"With his diverse comedy talents, Morris used his great wit and charisma to make the characters he played enjoyable and memorable," said Howard Goldberg, Qantas Airways vice president of sales and marketing, The Americas. "His long-standing contribution as the voice of the koala in the Qantas campaign has helped to make it one of the most recognizable icons of the Qantas brand and we will always remember him fondly," he added.
Throughout his 60-year career in show business, Morris remained a gifted performer, who perhaps was best known for his work with Sid Caesar and for his brief, memorable role as Ernest T. Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show." His television roles earned him acclaim as a character actor, which led to roles in numerous feature films, including "Boys' Night Out," "The Nutty Professor" and "History of the World: Part I." Morris' behind-the-camera interests resulted in his work as a director of feature films, television series and commercials, for which he won a Clio Award.
Morris is survived by his son David, daughters Gabrielle, Kim and Devra, and three grandchildren. A funeral service for Morris will be held today in Los Angeles.
About Qantas Airways
Qantas Airways is a global air carrier with more than 200 aircraft offering service to 135 destinations in 32 countries. Founded in 1920, Qantas Airways in 2004 celebrated 50 years of continuous flying between North America and Australia with more non-stop flights to Australia and New Zealand than any other carrier and provides convenient connections from Los Angeles to Indonesia, India and South Africa via the Sydney hub. Recently named Airline of the Year 2004 by Air Transport World magazine, Qantas Airways has long been recognized for its continued focus on excellence in the air as well as on the ground. Recently, Qantas' Skybed received the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum Museum 2004 Good Design Award for its sleeper seat that has just been introduced in the North American market.