Monthly Archives: January 2015

Les Tremayne

Les Tremayne

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Born Lester Tremayne, Les Tremayne was a very popular actor in voice acting and radio. He’s been noted to speak with what most people would describe as “a proper British accent.” Tremayne has voiced characters such as the Humbug in Chuck Jones’ adaptation of “The Phantom Tollbooth,” Orin on “Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer,” and Harry the Cat on Chuck Jones’ adaptation of “A Cricket in Times Square,” and its two sequels, “A Very Merry Cricket,” and “Yankee Doodle Cricket.”

Tremayne, as mentioned, also worked on radio shows, such as “The Adventures of the Thin Man,” “The Romance of Helen Trent,” and “The Falcon.” His distinctive baritone, almost higher than bass voice, was well recognized with an immense crowd of people who were avid listeners.

He’s also been in television numerous times. Tremayne has been seen on episodes of “Rawhide,” “Whispering Smith,” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” He brings a certain style of class to his performances which is really interesting to watch.

Les Tremayne has entertained people for a long time with a certain natural quality in his voice and an elegant emphasis on his composure. Les Tremayne is gone, but not forgotten.

Les Tremayne: April 16, 1913- December 19, 2003

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Cree Summer

Cree Summer

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Born Cree Summer Francks, Cree Summer is a great voice actress who started at a young age. She has voiced characters such as Penny on “Inspector Gadget,” Princess Kida on “Atlantis: the Lost Empire,” and Abigail Lincoln also known as Numbuh 5 on “Codename: Kids Next Door.”

Summer is a woman with quite a bit of sass. Though she at one point denied it, she actually has a lot of talent in her. The different types of characters she voices are amazing. She’s voiced African American characters like Foxxy Love on the adult cartoon, “Drawn Together,” Caucasian characters such as Elmyra on “Tiny Toon Adventures,” and even voiced as quote unquote villainess Tiff Crust on “My Life as a Teenage Robot.”

Summer, being the daughter of Don Francks, helped Cree get into the world of voice acting. In fact, he was the one that got her the job as Penny on “Inspector Gadget.” If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t be able to hear all of the passion and fun she puts into all of her roles.

Cree Summer has been one of my favorite voice actors for a long time, and she has one of the voice actresses my mother can easily find whenever we watch television together. It’s comforting to know that Cree Summer is young and full of life, able to entertain the world with her distinctive slightly raspy sassy voice.

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Robin Williams

Robin Williams

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Born Robin McLaurin Williams, Robin Williams’ death back in August 2014 really was a devastation, for he left behind a lot of great work and smiles on peoples’ faces.  He has voiced characters such as Batty Koda on “Ferngully: the Last Rainforest,” Fender on “Robots,” and his most famous voice acting role, Genie on “Aladdin.”

Williams had a bright sense of humor and his ability on his standup comedy and improv really made people laugh. When Eric Goldberg, animator of the Genie, considered to have Williams as the voice of the character, he would first make a lip-synching animation using Williams’ comedy routine on record. This test proved successful, as even Williams himself had laughed with joy with Goldberg’s animation technique.

I remember actually watching an episode of “Whose Line is it Anyway” where Robin Williams was a guest. His humor blended well with the minds of Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Ryan Stiles. Williams’ dedication to his contribution to the improv kingdom really made me laugh with happiness, and I believe, he was one of the best guests to ever be on “Whose Line.”

Robin Williams’ hard work has made people laugh for many long years, and his work on “Night at the Museum,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Good Will Hunting” continue to have people smiling at the effort he did. He will indeed be missed, and will not be forgotten any time soon.

Robin Williams: July 21, 1951- August 11, 2014

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April Winchell

April Winchell

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Born April Terri Winchell, April Winchell has become known to be a wonderfully famous voice actress. She is the daughter of ventriloquist/voice actor, Paul Winchell, and talent really runs through their family. She’s been known to voice as both Herman’s baby voice in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” as well as Mrs. Herman, the mother. She also voices characters such as Ms. Muriel Finster on “Recess,” Lydia Pearson on “Pepper Ann,” and currently, Sylvia on “Wander Over Yonder.”

Winchell has been in the vocal industry for many years, following in the footsteps of her father. She’s also very creative, and has a bit of an attitude to her. Before it was taken down, she used to have a website that parodied another website. It was a parody of “Etsy” called “Regretsy: Where DIY meets WTF.”

Nowadays, she has her own web-series called “SockPuppet Theatre,” where the flame wars, internet meltdowns, and comments from anonymous people on the internet are turned into scripts and performed by sock puppets. For more information, please visit http://sockpuppettheatre.com

April Winchell is a very talented and creative woman with a good head on her shoulders and a lot of sass. I’m an immense fan of her work, and I hope she will continue to entertain for as long as she can.

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Bill Melendez

Bill Melendez

Bill

Today’s voice actor discussion is a little bit different, for he’s not professionally known to be a voice actor. He was an animator first, and then was a voice actor.

Born José Cuauhtémoc Meléndez, Bill Melendez was an interesting man. This may sound strange, but this man brought to life characters such as Snoopy, Woodstock, and Spike on the Peanuts. He helped to animate these characters as well, working with Charles Schultz and Lee Mendelson.

Normally, Melendez had a baritone sort of voice, but in order to obtain the correct sound, selected lines had to be fast forwarded to get a higher tone for Snoopy’s voice. His normal speaking voice also had a noticeable Mexican accent, which we strangely don’t always hear when he voices Snoopy.

Melendez has done Snoopy’s voice so many times that there’s enough vocal footage for a full length movie, which is why for the upcoming movie, they might actually use the old dialogue for Snoopy’s voice. So technically, even after all these years and after Melendez’ death, his voice is still used for Snoopy and Woodstock.

José Cuauhtémoc “Bill” Meléndez: November 15, 1916- September 2, 2008

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Don Francks

Don Francks

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Born Donald Harvey Francks or Iron Buffalo, Don Francks has been a different kind of voice artist for me. I mostly know his daughter’s work, but I do know his work. He has voiced characters such as the speaking voice of Mok Swagger on “Rock and Rule,” Boss Mouse on “Eckhart,” and was the first voice of Dr. Claw on “Inspector Gadget.” This was where we were introduced to his daughter’s vocal work, that of Miss Cree Summer.

Francks is mostly a well known singer and actor. Because he has such a deep voice, he’s been known as the “Orson Wells of Canada.” He has also had the pleasure of working  on a cartoon co-produced by Gene Simmons called “My Dad the Rock Star.”

Don Francks has an interesting vocal range, and talent really runs in his family. His daughter, Cree Summer, shall also be discussed. May he continue to work hard at all he does.

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Christine Cavanaugh

Christine Cavanaugh

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Special thanks to Chris Hawkins and Dane Burns for the request

Usually, I would write my blogs in the order of living then non-living, but for this case, I’ll make an exception. This is to honor the memory of the recently deceased Christine Cavanaugh.

Born Christine Josephine Cavanaugh, Christine Cavanaugh has been one of the biggest influences of my childhood. She’s brought to life such voices as Chuckie Finster on “Rugrats”, Dexter on “Dexter’s Laboratory”, and Gosalyn Waddlemeyer-Mallard on “Darkwing Duck.”

Cavanaugh brought a different style of voice acting to her versatile performances. There was no doubt about the talent this woman was blessed with. One of my most favorite performances was the “Dexter’s Laboratory” episode, “Labretto.” In this, she brings a truly soulful performance as Dexter, and her singing voice was so powerful and inspiring.

Cavanaugh had retired from voice acting in 2001, but she left behind such a long list of characters she voiced, as well as Oblina on “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” and Bunnie Rabbot on “Sonic the Hedgehog,” otherwise nicknamed, “Sonic SatAM.”

Christine Cavanaugh, you have inspired me for such a long time that I feel it’s time I gave back and showed my appreciation for all you do. Your friends, your family, and your fans will all miss you. May you rest in peace.

Christine Cavanaugh: August 16, 1963- December 22, 2014

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