John LeRoy "Roy" Atwell was an American actor, comedian, and composer, known for playing characters that misdelivered their lines or stammered. Atwell was the original voice of Doc in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Atwell was born in a town in the state of New York, and was based primarily in New York City. He was son of Joseph Addison Atwell, a direct descendant of Joseph Atwell (1754–1834), a revolutionary war soldier who in 1792 purchased land in the military tract in New York State that was then the frontier and built a house ("Atwell's Corners") in what today is known as Pompey Hollow south of Syracuse, New York.
He served in the US army during the Spanish-American war before turning to acting. When Atwell initially started working on Broadway, he had a serious role which called for his character to deliver the following line: “It is spring and all the little birds are twittering in the tree tops.” Being nervous about this early role, Atwell instead uttered: “Tis ting and the twits are birdering in the tree flops.” Mortified and expecting to be fired, he was surprised to witness that the mis-delivered line drew a laugh from the audience. Instead of being dismissed, he was congratulated at the end of the performance and asked to repeat it for the next night. As a result, he soon began enjoying success as a comic actor, dubbing himself a “muddler” or character who would muddle his thoughts and words.
He appeared in other Broadway productions such as The Little Missus, The Mimic World, Oh, My Dear!, The Firefly, and How's Your Health? He was also a member of the Fortune Gallo's San Carlo Opera Company, served on the council of the Episcopal Actors Guild, and joined ASCAP in 1957. He composed the popular song "Some Little Bug is Going to Find You" as well as wrote the words to "When a Piece of Toast Climbs Your Bedpost with a Cigar."
Often typecast as a husband, father, doctor, lawyer, politician, businessman, educator, wealthy bachelor, or authority figure; his film credits include The Little Broadcast, The Harvester, Varsity Show, The Fleet's In, Gentleman Joe Palooka, Abie's Irish Rose, and Where There's Life as Salesman which was his final film appearance before retiring in 1947.