Lee Marshall: Tony the Tiger Voice Actor Dies at 64 of Esophageal Cancer

Thursday, 08 May 2014 02:46 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Lee Marshall, the voice of Frosted Flakes' iconic Tony the Tiger character, died at a Santa Monica, California, hospital on April 26 of esophageal cancer. He was 64.

Marshall started providing the voice for Tony the Tiger in 1999, assisting the original Tony the Tiger voice actor Thurl Ravencroft, who was in his 80s and started to have a difficult time with the dialogue, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Ravenscroft, whose "They're g-r-r-r-e-a-t" line resounded on television and other audio ads since 1952, died in 2005 at 91.

Marshall's deep basso profundo voice often landed him villain voiceover roles in cartoons.

"I would just once like to be the guy who saves Scooby-Doo," Marshall said to his agent one time, who responded, "You'll always be the guy who tries to kill Scooby-Doo," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Marshall was born Marshall Aaron Mayer in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, 1949, and by 14 he used his deep voice to lie about his age to get his first disc jockey gig at a radio station in Phoenix where his family had moved.

He worked at radio stations in Windsor, Ontario, and San Diego before moving back to Los Angeles to work at KHJ and KABC. He hosted a talk show at Dodger Stadium.

"If God ever wanted to make a speech, Lee Marshall would get the call," former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda once said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jeremy Hobson, talk show host of WUIS-FM, said that Marshall's Tony the Tiger voice was inescapable, even when he was doing sports announcing.

"Even his sports reporting, like announcing a wrestling match, you can hear that roar of a voice," Hobson said.

Legendary movie trailer voiceover artist Hal Douglas died March 7 at age 89.

Douglas' "In a world ..." movie voiceovers often shaped fans' expectations in trailers before the movie hits the big screen.

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