Voice Actors Pay Tribute to ‘Robotech’ Producer


Robotech.com has a memorial page for US anime pioneer and Robotech producer Carl Macek, who passed away April 17th of a heart attack at the age of 58.

The page includes reflections on “Uncle Carl” (as he was known to friends) from the following cast members:

Tony Oliver, voice of Rick Hunter
Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski, voice of Lynn Minmei
Barbara Goodson, voice of Marie Crystal and Sera
Richard Epcar, voice of Ben Dixon, Lunk, Vince Grant
Robert Axelrod, voice of Rico
Tiffany Grant, anime voice actor

Added 5.09.2010 — Thanks to Jeff B. for the heads-up on this Robotech 25th Anniversary panel video from the January 2010 Animation on Display convention in San Francisco, CA featuring Tony Oliver, Robotech Creative Director Tommy Yune, and the late Carl Macek. It seems very appropriate and timely that this was Macek’s final convention appearance.

RIP Eddie Carroll, 1933-2010


The International Jack Benny Fan Club is reporting that Eddie Carroll, voice of iconic Disney character Jiminy Cricket since 1973, has passed away of a brain tumor at the age of 76.

Carroll assumed the role after the death of Cliff Edwards in 1971 and had voiced the famous cricket for all manner of Disney media over the course of nearly 40 years, including the Kingdom Hearts video game series.

And up until what was described on his site as a “recent injury,” Carroll had been performing the critically-acclaimed one-man tribute stage show Jack Benny: Laughter in Bloom.

I received the following message from Laura Leff, president of The International Jack Benny Fan Club, on the morning of Tuesday, April 6th:

Eddie Carroll passed away about an hour ago. Today is also his and Carolyn’s wedding anniversary–47 years. And I read Eddie all the well-wishes that I had received up to about 10PM Pacific Time last night, so he knew that you were thinking of him.

There is a story told by one of the help at Jack’s house that shortly before he passed away, he woke up and said that he had been talking with Lyman Woods (his second vaudeville partner). Jack said that Lyman had shown him the afterlife, and that it was “beautiful”.

I’m sure many of us will want to envision Jack helping Eddie to make his exit to our standing ovation.

–Laura Leff
President, IJBFC

Update: 4.07.2010, 2:30 PM (EST)
: JackBenny.org has provided some additional details regarding the funeral and where to send donations:

For those who have asked about the funeral, it is going to be a private affair for the family only. In a few weeks, a number of Eddie’s friends will be pulling together a tribute to him, which will be entitled: “A Tribute to Eddie Carroll: A Life in Bloom”.

Eddie’s favorite charity was St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, so the family is asking that donations be made there. Here’s a link.

When Carolyn got home from the hospital, there was a beautiful arrangement of lilies waiting for her. They were from the Benny family with their appreciation for all that Eddie did for Jack. Appropriately, it was done by the same florist that Jack had deliver one red rose to Mary for every day for the rest of her life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Eddie’s family and friends at this time.

I’ll provide a more detailed tribute to Eddie in the future as part of a larger project which is in development.

In the meantime, I’d like to spotlight other tributes from around the web:

NewsFromMe.com by Mark Evanier
The Washington Post

And there are additional links in the comment thread below.

Featured Voices: Jeff Bordner


Continued Super Bowl Sunday voice-related coverage…

Salt Lake City’s KSL.com has an interview with Jeff Bordner, who won the audition as the announcer for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VI.

“I love what I do. My work is play,” he tells KSL.com. “My commute consists of a cup of coffee and negotiating the steps downstairs in my power suit, which is my bathrobe.”

Bordner, who also voices promos for ESPN, NBC, CBS and FOX, says of the VO industry: “I don’t know of another business that is this competitive. I’m very fortunate and I’m very blessed. Every type of voice brings with it some kind of positive thing, some kind of hook that advertisers are looking for. Whether it’s comedic or intense, or whether it’s just a regular guy. I’ve learned it’s not the voice, it’s the performance. You are voice acting. It is acting.”

You can learn more about Bordner’s work on his official site: NationalVoiceover.com.

Bordner replaces the late Harry Kalas, who served as announcer for Puppy Bowls I-V. Kalas, who passed away April 13, 2009, was the beloved voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and narrator for NFL Films. Look for a memorial tribute to Kalas here in April, 2010.

Related post: 2.07.2010 — Super Bowl Sunday VO

RIP, Ed Ragozzino


Ed Ragazzino (photo courtesy VoiceProfessionals.com)

The Register-Guard is reporting that performer Ed Ragozzino died of cancer Saturday, Jan. 30th. He was 79.

In addition to a serving in the Army during the Korean War, Ragozzino also had a fair “side career” working as a voice talent and actor in film, TV and radio productions. Furthermore, he was a high school and college drama teacher who also directed regional stage shows.

He provided voiceovers for Soloflex, Subaru, Mercedes Benz, AT&T, National Geographic, The History Channel and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. He also voiced characters for the 1994 video game Metaltech: Earthsiege.

One of Ragozzino’s drama students, Julie Payne, says of her beloved teacher, “We were all in love with Mr. Ragozzino. He was handsome, funny, terrifying, inspiring and kindly. Everything he knew, he wanted to pass on to us.”

Looking back on his life in a 2007 interview with the Register-Guard, Ragozzino said, “My timing was great. I’ve been lucky.”

Related links:


RIP, Shirley Bell Cole


The New York Times is reporting that Shirley Bell Cole died on January 12th, 2010. She was 89.

Cole voiced the title character for the popular radio show “Little Orphan Annie” (an adaptation of the comic strip by Harold Gray). She got the part when she was only 10 years old, and the NY Times says she managed to “maintain that bubbly preteen voice…until she was 20.”

Although Cole retired from acting afterwards, she still made public appearances and even published an award-winning autobiography in 2005, Acting Her Age: My Ten Years as a Ten-Year-Old (winner of two awards at the Chicago Book Clinic’s Book and Media Show).

Click here to read The Times’ complete obit.

RIP, Zelda Rubenstein


Actress Zelda Rubenstein, who famously played the diminutive psychic in the 1982 horror classic Poltergeist, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 27th. She was 76.

A strong presence both on and off-camera as a character actor, Rubenstein voiced characters for several animated productions: Hey Arnold!, Darkwing Duck, The Flintstones: On the Rocks, The Flintstones Comedy Show, and she voiced Ralph’s mother in the 1986 live-action/stop-motion animated ABC Weekend Special The Mouse and the Motorcycle. She was also the narrator for the TV series Scariest Places on Earth, and Wikipedia mentions that she had been doing commercial voiceovers since 2006 which included a movie trailer for Lady in the Water and the image voice for Skittles’ “Taste the Rainbow” ad campaign.

Please see the LA Times for a complete obituary.

Thanks to Rob Paulsen for the news via Facebook.

Event: Muppeteer Richard Hunt Biography Reading


Author Jessica Max Stein, who published an 84-page biography on Muppeteer Richard Hunt in August 2009, will conclude her follow-up “zine tour” with a bookstore event in Chicago, IL on Sunday, January 10th, 2010.

If you live in the Chicago area, please visit JessicaMaxStein.com for more details on this event. Portland’s Blogtown has an overview of one of Stein’s 2009 events.

Richard Hunt worked with Jim Henson’s productions for 20 years up until his death in 1992 of AIDS-related complications. He performed such popular Muppet characters as Scooter, Janice, Beaker and Sweetums, Fraggle Rock’s Junior Gorg and Gunge, and Sesame Street’s Don Music and Forgetful Jones.

Stein’s ‘zine The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt, Gay Muppeteer is available through MicrocosmPublishing.com.

Stein’s blog offers an extended interview with Richard Hunt’s mother Jane and her partner Arthur Miller, including archive photos.

Related post: 4.06.2009 — Muppets/Jim Henson News Round-Up