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'Rudolph' Turns 50: Hermey the Elf Voice Actor Reflects in Interview

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 01:10 PM

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" turned 50 years old on Saturday, further cementing its reign as the longest running holiday special of all time.

In an interview with Time magazine, the actor who voiced Hermey the elf said he isn't planning a celebratory viewing, however.

"Because you can’t avoid it!" said voice actor Paul Soles.

"It plays three or four times — it’s hard to escape . . . I don’t believe I own a copy, but I do watch it, it’s nice to be reminded of a good time."

Five decades on, Soles has a very down-to-earth attitude toward the movie, and readily admits he never knew it would become such an enduring hit.

"[Working on 'Rudolph'] was fun. It was a playground. An after-school play in the park. It was not unlike ice cream on pie after a good meal," he said in reflection.

At 84, Soles now wears dentures, and noted the irony of voicing an elf who wants to become a dentist.

"I’ve had one of the most horrible careers with dentists over my lifetime. I just hated it," he reported. "Up until about '07 I had to go to the dentist once a year to have a tooth out. And I got so upset, I went to a dentist in Toronto and said, 'Take them all out! All the 10 or 12 that are left.'"

Through the years, the stop-motion characters have become part of the American consciousness, and have even been featured on a set of U.S. postage stamps, CBS reported.

Soles said that one interesting thing that's happened as the movie has been introduced to new generations is the perspectives they have on the film. He said he regularly gets asked about Hermey's sexuality, for example.

"People have questioned if Hermey is gay," he told his interviewer. "I don’t know about you, but I don’t think elves are thought of anything other than neutered."



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"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" turned 50 years old on Saturday, further cementing its reign as the longest running holiday special of all time.
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2014-10-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 01:10 PM
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