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{ Cast & Crew: Val Bettin }

Val Bettin (Dr. Dawson)

Valentin "Val" Bettin (August 1, 1923 ) is an American actor born in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Bettin spent the first two decades of his life in his hometown with his father, a candy maker, and mother who loved English literature. During the 1940's, Bettin took a theater workshop in Oakland. The teacher was so impressed with his acting, he suggested that he audition at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England. Bettin left on a ship for Bloomsbury in 1948. It was nighttime when he first arrived on England's shores, but he already felt right at home. Bettin applied and was accepted into the Academy, graduating in 1950. Within that year, he met the love of his life, Hildy. Her father worked as a stage manager at the theater and invited Bettin to a Sunday tea with his daughter present. The two soon married and returned to the U.S. where Bettin trained to become a drama teacher in Iowa. He never spoke with an American accent again.

Bettin's perfect English accent helped him launch a career in radio, TV, stage, movies, and animation. The couple, raising a son and two daughters, moved to Los Angeles in 1979 where Bettin would land his first film role. In 1980, he played a director in Somewhere In Time starring the late Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The film was considered a box office failure, but grew to become a cult classic. Bettin, along with the other crew members, had no idea the movie would become popular as well as treasured by many fans. The movie, about a love affair in two different time periods, was something Bettin could relate to with his own wife, Hildy. The two retired to Ventura in 1995. Their marriage was of unconditional love and friendship for 57 years until Hildy's passing in 2007 at the age of 83.

Although Bettin appeared in live-action shows of the 80's and 90's, his voice-over work extended brilliantly after he won the role of the endearing Dr. David Q. Dawson in The Great Mouse Detective (1986). Following in the 90's after Douglas Seale stepped down, Bettin became the voice of the Sultan in the sequels and TV series of "Disney's Aladdin." He continued with Egon Pax in "Disney's Gargoyles" (1994) Professor Porter in the video game version of "Disney's Tarzan" (1999), and the Bishop in Dreamworks' Shrek (2001) to name a few.

Today, Bettin continues to live peacefully in Ventura in the same home previously shared with his wife. He makes seldom appearances including a recent reunion with the cast and crew of Somewhere in Time on Mackinac Island.

Special thanks to Ventura County Star for the biography information. Other sources include and Wikipedia.

On August 1, 2013, Mr. Bettin turned 90! Happy Birthday!

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