Laurie Main, Narrator on TV’s ‘Welcome to Pooh Corner,’ Dies at 89

Australian actor also had a voice role in “The Great Mouse Detective” and appeared in such Disney films as “Freaky Friday” and “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.”

Laurie Main, the Australian-born actor best known as the kindly host and narrator of the 1980s live-action Disney Channel series Welcome to Pooh Corner, died Feb. 8 in Los Angeles. He was 89.

Main also was the voice of Dr. Watson in the 1986 Disney animated movie The Great Mouse Detective, starring Vincent Price.

Main was a Disney favorite. He narrated several Winnie the Pooh shorts, served as the story reader on many of the company's Read-Along cassettes and CDs and acted in such Disney films as The Strongest Man in the World (1975), Freaky Friday (1976) and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977).

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Welcome to Pooh Corner, which featured actors in puppet suits, debuted on April 18, 1983, the day the Disney Channel was launched. Each  commercial-free half-hour show opened with Main talking about an event that occurred in the Hundred Acre Wood; he then opened and read from a book titled Welcome to Pooh Corner.

Born in 1922 in Melbourne, Main left home at age 16 and moved to England, where he worked on stage in such productions as the comedy Diary of a Nobody. He came to the U.S. in 1960 and studied acting with Agnes Moorehead.

Main later appeared in episodes of such series as Moorhead’s Bewitched, Hogan’s Heroes, Daniel Boone, Mayberry R.F.D., The Guns of Will Sonnett and Honey West; in the 1982 telefilm The Facts of Life Go to Paris; and in the films Time After Time (1979) and Mom and Dad Save the World (1992).

On Broadway in 1959, he played opposite Eartha Kitt in Jolly’s Progress.