Did Ernie Hudson Lose Out On a Role in the Real Ghostbusters Cartoon That He Played in The Actual Ghostbusters Film?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Ernie Hudson auditioned for the role of Winston on the Real Ghostbusters animated series and did not get the job.

For a generation of kids growing up in the late 1980s, there is a very good chance that their first exposure to the world of the Ghostbusters was not, in fact, the popular 1984 film of the same name starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson…

but the animated television series that ran from 1986-1991 (titled The REAL Ghostbusters because of a competing Filmation series called Ghostbusters, which was based on a 1970 animated series called The Ghost Busters).

The animated series adaptation, which was story edited by J. Michael Straczynski (who also wrote a number of episodes) was of a much higher quality than most cartoon adaptations of films. As a result, it hung on for an extended run (five years is an eternity in syndicated cartoon series), although Straczynski departed after the first “season” of 78 episodes due to some changes made to the series (he returned to write a few episodes in 1990 before the series ended).

As is the standard custom for animated adaptations of films, the characters were not voiced by the actors who portrayed them in the film. Lorenzo Music voiced Bill Murray’s character, Peter, Maurice LaMarche voiced Harold Ramis’ character, Egon, Frank Welker voiced Dan Dan Aykroyd’s character Ray and Arsenio Hall voiced Ernie Hudson’s character, Winston. However, did you know that in an odd turn of events, Ernie Hudson actually auditioned to voice Winston? And he lost the role to Arsenio Hall!

Read on to see what happened…

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