All movie lovers from the occasional fan to the biggest will have their favorite film, but have any of you ever stopped to consider who might be your favorite voices of the movies?
As a movie enthusiast my self I have movies I dearly love and movies I wish I could have the time added back onto my life, but it wasn’t until recently while watching the Shawshank Redemption just how many movies I like or have seen that the voice of the actor is heard more so then actually seen.
Over the years there have been movies that have had some well-known or well-liked characters, but you’ve only heard their voice on screen. The actor himself never actually appeared. I’m of course referring to live action movies and not animation, as that would be a whole different posting.
I took a little time and compiled a list of notable voices in Hollywood history that you might not always think about while your enjoying the movie. This list may not be the perfect list and that’s fine. What I do have listed are five well known Hollywood voices that I feel would end up on anyone’s top ten list.
Take a look at what I’m calling my top five and see if you agree or disagree.
#5 Peter Cullen is best known for the voice of Optimus Prime. Granted Mr. Cullen’s film resume includes more animation then it does live action, but this is where I’m making an exception. As the voice of Optimus Prime his voice is unmistakable. A rich sound that gives Optimus the sound of authority. Say what you may about the Michael Bay films, but with out Peter Cullen we would have even more to complain.
#4 Don LaFontaine wasn’t a Hollywood actor, but did record more than 5,000 film trailers over the course of his career. The phrase “In a world…”, was used in so many movie trailers that it became a cliché. He also lent his voice to advertisements on television as well. LaFontaine might not of been a Hollywood actor, but his voice was the first voice you heard for years before the movie ever began playing. Don LaFontaine died in 2008.
#3 Frank Oz is best known for the voices of Miss Piggy and Yoda the Jedi Master from the Star Wars universe. Mr. Oz has more talents of course them giving us famous voices to beloved characters. He’s also a director, most notably “Little Shop of Horrors” in 1987. You may not think giving a voice to a puppet could make you famous, but Mr. Oz has given us two unforgettable characters.
#2 Morgan Freeman a Hollywood icon with a voice to match. In the 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption” Freeman played the character of “Red” a convicted murder and the film’s narrator. Freeman has also provided his voice for two films, War of the Worlds (2005) and the Academy Award-winning documentary March of the Penguins. An unmistakable voice that you never become tired of.
#1 James Earl Jones, an actor for more than 60 years, but will forever be remembered as the voice of Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King and of course you can’t forget Darth Vader.
Even though a different actor wore the costume during the filming of the original Star Wars trilogy, it was James Earl Jones who gave life to the Sith Lord with his booming voice. At his own request, Jones went uncredited for the original releases of the first two Star Wars films, “A New Hope” (1977) and “Empire Strikes Back” (1980).
His voice is the voice of evil if your a Star Wars fan, but Mr. Jones has a long list of movie credits that any actor would love to have. Field of Dreams, Coming to America, The Hunt for Red October and Conan the Barbarian just to name a few.