Thea White, the American voice actress who brought Courage the Cowardly Dog's Muriel to life, has died. She was 81. White's brother, John Zitner, revealed her death in a Facebook post shared on Friday, noting she passed away at 11:05 a.m. that day. He followed up with another note, saying she had two recent surgeries. Brad Zitner, another relative, revealed she had liver cancer. The surgery removed the cancer, but she suffered an infection afterward.
"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 damn cancer)," Brad wrote, adding, "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. 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.
"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. You loved life and even know I know the final outcome I love your decision to go for it and to try to win. Damnit sticks!"
Based on John's posts, White was in good spirits before her passing. He shared a bubbly clip of the actress ahead of her first surgery and then another after her second. She was bright and joyous in the messages she recorded for family.
Muriel Bagge was one of the core characters of Courage the Cowardly Dog, which aired on Cartoon Network from 1999 to 2002. Muriel was Courage's adopted mother, and the titular canine (Marty Grabstein) did everything he could to protect her from various ghouls and monsters. White voiced the character in all 52 episodes of the show and actually reprised the role not long before her passing. She voiced Muriel in the upcoming straight-to-video crossover movie Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog. The film will be released on Sept. 14.
The two men who voiced Muriel's husband, Eustace Bagge, on the show have also died in recent years. Lionel Wilson died of pneumonia on April 23, 2003, and Arthur Anderson died of undisclosed causes on April 9, 2019.