James Cranna (ca. 1944-2017) was a San Francisco-based voice actor who was heard in several John Korty animated shorts on Sesame Street, notably as Cyrus the magpie in the recurring "Thelma Thumb" series and as another talking bird in a segment about what's inside the street.
Cranna's early entertainment career began as a member of the improv group The Committee (whose ranks also included Julie Payne and Peter Bonerz). This led to work in advertising as both writer and performer and later teaching his own improv classes, but also to a few George Lucas projects, voicing various announcers in THX 1138 and appearing on-camera as a liquor store thief in American Graffiti. He also spent a stint as story editor on Laverne & Shirley.
During the same period, Cranna worked with John Korty, in commercials and short films, and then with both Korty and Lucas on the animated feature Twice Upon a Time (as the voice of Rod Rescueman, Scuzzbopper, and others) and the TV movie The Ewok Adventure (as the voice of Widdle). A couple years later, he voiced Teebo in the second season of the animated Ewoks series (recorded in San Francisco). Later credits included small parts in the films Mrs. Doubtfire, Made in America, and Rent and continued voice work in commercials and video games.
- Costantinou, Marianne. "Jim Cranna leaves 'em laughing as improv career ends." The San Francisco Chronicle. August 5, 2005.