Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine

David Livingston/Getty Images
Doc McStuffins

Loretta Devine as the voice of Hallie in Doc McStuffins

Disney Junior
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August 24, 2022
In The Mix

Loretta Devine's Familiar Voice

As the voice of Hallie, the nurse-hippo on Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins, Loretta Devine reprises her role in the tenth anniversary special, The Doc Is 10!

There's no mistaking the voice of Loretta Devine.

"I say three words and everybody knows it's me," she says with a laugh. Her self-described "high timbre and light voice" have been a distinctive presence in children's TV, most notably as Hallie, the beloved hippo on Doc McStuffins. The Disney Junior animated series about an African-American girl who can talk to stuffed animals and cure their ailments premiered ten years ago and ran original episodes through 2020. The series is marking that milestone with a new special, The Doc is 10!, debuting August 26 on Disney Junior, Disney Channel and Disney+.

"It was ahead of its time," Devine says of Doc McStuffins. "This came long before Black Lives Matter. As a little Black girl, Doc meant so much to so many. She was such a positive image. And we got to meet Doc's parents, who were very loving."

Since the show's 2012 premiere, Devine has heard from many appreciative parents. And when the actress — who received three NAACP Image Awards for the role — was on Grey's Anatomy, star Ellen Pompeo had her make a recording in Hallie's voice for her own children.

Devine's voiceover career began in 2009, when she starred in The PJs. It continues in Disney Junior's new Eureka! where she can be heard as Wanda, the grandmother. "It's very exciting," she says of the series, about a young inventor in prehistoric times. "And it reminds me of Doc McStuffins, because it is positive and will make kids say, 'I can create things, too!'"

Alongside her kids' TV work, Devine also appears as Ernestine in the very adult Starz series P-Valley and as Amelia in the family-friendly Netflix comedy Family Reunion. She can also be seen opposite Diane Keaton in the new film Mack & Rita.

"I feel so blessed that I've been able to continue to work," she says. "This is something I decided I wanted to do when I was very little, and I've loved it all my life. I get excited when there's something new to do."

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine issue #9, 2022, under the title, "Sounds Familiar."

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