Ira W. Meltcher aka Mel Welles was born in Astoria, Queens, New York on February 17, 1924. Prior to his Hollywood acting career, Welles held a variety of jobs, including clinical psychologist, writer and radio deejay. After some stage work, he wound up in Hollywood, making his film debut in “Appointment in Honduras” (1953). His best and favorite role, as flower shop owner Gravis Mushnick in director Roger Corman's horror comedy “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960), was one of his last before leaving the US in the early 1960s and forging a long acting-producing-directing career in Europe.
In the early 1960s, he left the United States initially to make a film in Germany. After the producer was arrested, he travelled to Rome to act, produce and direct mostly uncredited primarily in Europe several film productions including the cult horror films “Maneater of Hydra” (1967) and “Lady Frankenstein” (1971). His fluency in five languages proved to be most helpful where he started a dubbing company that by his own estimate dubbed over 800 European made films. He also served as a film consultant. Later, he returned to the U.S., appearing in a number of films, doing voice work, and teaching voice acting.
WELLES, Mel (Ira W. Meltcher) [2/17/1924, Astoria, Queens, New York, U.S.A. – 8/18/2005, Norfolk, Virginia (heart failure)] – director, film, TV, voice actor, married to Mary Verduce (Mary Janet Carsey) [1937-1973] (1948-195?) married to producer Annie Marie Welles [1940- ] (1959-2005) father of Teri Welles (Esther Meltcher), actor Kevin K. Welles [1962- ], actor Sherwood ‘Woody’ Welles, married to Meri Welles [1937- ] father of Melanie Welles Ridlon, Adam Welles.
Mel Welles’ English dubbed voices:
The Great Silence – 1968 [English voice of Luigi Pistilli]
Cut-Throats Nine – 1972 [English voice of unknown actor]