Sad news

I found out about this when posting a casting call on the Voice Acting Alliance board. Tony Jay -- prolific, extraordinary, well-respected voice actor, has died. Sources say he had surgery in April to remove a tumor from his lung, and never recovered from it. My reaction was first a strangled, enlongated "NO!" and then a quick check with other sources to confirm it. I was very upset.

I knew Tony Jay as Megabyte from ReBoot, before I knew the actor's name. He brought a lot to that role, and really stood out. The next time I recognised his voice in something, I took note of his name. I liked his voice so much, I started imitating him, doing Tony Jay impressions along with my Kermit the Frog and Worf impressions. Since then, I've noticed him as Shere Khan in the Jungle Book 2, the Administrator in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the storybook narrator in Treasure Planet, and the protocol-obsessed fiancé of Lwaxana Troi in a Star Trek episode, where you actually get to see the man himself. On that latter occasion, when I was pointing him out to my roommate Tom at the time, Tom said he knew him as Virgil in Mighty Max. With Tony Jay's long list of works, it's hard to imagine any English speaker who grew up on cartoons and video games not to have heard his acting.

It had been my goal to become successful enough to eventually hire Tony Jay to act in one of my animations, and regrettably I have failed in that goal. It only reinforces my feeling that has been growing clearer and clearer in recent years, that if there is someone you respect or admire, you should make an effort to see them, meet them, let them know what they mean to you, before it's too late.

1 comment:

Tomoe said...

i never knew his name. i loved all of those shows as a kid. it will be a shame to not here his voice again.