Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bradbury 13: A Tribute to Paul Frees

You may not know Paul Frees, but you know his voice.Josh Pincus

Paul Frees was know as The Man of a Thousand Voices. He spoke the introduction to each of the Bradbury 13 episodes in deep and foreboding tones, as well as giving the credits at the end. He had an amazing four-octave range, which made him highly sought after. He had a long and busy career in radio and in film doing voice-over work for both animated and live action movies. He even appeared on screen in several films. His resumé is the longest I've ever seen on IMDb, and includes 346 titles. At one point, he was employed by nine different animation studios. According to film historian Hal Erickson, It was literally impossible during the 1960s and most of the 1970s to turn on the TV on any given night and not hear the ineluctable Mr. Frees. Here is a sampling of some of his many, many characters.

• Is the Ghost Host at Disney's Haunted Mansion. There is a singing bust in his likeness in Disney's 2003 film, The Haunted Mansion
• Is the voice of several of the characters at Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Most recognizably, he is the voice who says, dead men tell no tales. Audio recordings of Frees from the ride can be heard in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
• Was the voice of The Pillsbury Dough Boy. He was reportedly earning $50,000 a year during the 1970's for that job alone.
• He voiced Boris Badenov and several other characters on Rocky & Bullwinkle.
• Passed away suddenly in 1986 at the age of 66 of heart failure. This was just two years after Bradbury 13 was released.

Thank you, Mr. Frees, for making the world a little more beautiful.


Jennifer Lovell said...

I just love to hear about people with cool talents who have really successful--and fun--careers. Good for him! We all enjoyed him in many different ways over the years.

Peggy said...

wow I didn't know he did so many things! I guess i heard him all my life without knowing it was him.

Jill said...

What a great way to end the fun tribute to Bradbury 13... It's been really fun to remember.

josh pincus is crying said...

Thanks for featuring my illustration of Paul Frees on your tribute.

More of my illustration can be seen at my blog "josh pincus is crying"