It’s…The Voice: Notable Voices in Entertainment

notable voices - green soundwaveVoices have great impact. How many times have you heard a voice on TV or radio and instantly recognized it? You may have even recognized a person’s voice before you recognized their face or remembered their voice before remembering their name. Folks with clear, distinctive voices are in high demand for radio, TV, and movie voice-over work.

Below are a few folks from the entertainment world whose voices I’m pretty sure you’ve heard:


Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is often described as having the “voice of God.” He actually played God in the Jim Carrey film Bruce Almighty.

Freeman’s voice and acting ability were unmistakable in The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, and Million Dollar Baby.  His distinctive speaking voice has been heard on everything from Olympic VISA commercials to the award-winning film March of the Penguins.


James Earl Jones

Like Freeman, Jones is also often considered the “voice of God,” but his deep, strong tones can sometimes appear sinister. Jones gave fatherly advice in The Lion King as Mufasa and made baseball fun in Field of Dreams as Terence Mann. Many younger generation fans will recognize him for his current Sprint TV commercials, but no one could forget Jones as the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies. “Luke, I am your father.” His deep, booming voice could entrance or scare anyone!


Frank Oz

Speaking of Star Wars, how about the voice of Yoda, the Jedi Master who trained Luke Skywalker to fight against evil. Yoda’s voice was provided by puppeteer and actor Frank Oz. You may not know his name or recognize his face, but you’re certain to know the voices of the Muppet characters he created and performed – Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam the Eagle, and more in The Muppet Show. Additional, Oz voiced the Cookie Monster, Bert, Grover, and many more characters from Sesame Street.


Gilbert Gottfried

Some voices are pleasant and soothing to the ears, while others are, well, not so much! Gilbert Gottfried fits in the second category. While he’s mostly worked on TV shows and commercials, bringing quirky characters to life, Gottfried is famous for his role as Iago the parrot in the animated film Aladdin. Also, for years, he provided the high-pitched, grating squawk of the AFLAC duck.

There are so many distinctive and familiar voices from both the past and present. Like me, do you find yourself recognizing the voices of such notables as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Vincent Price, Sean Connery, or Michael Jackson? Depending on the generation you belong to, you could probably add a long list to the names already mentioned.

Even though my focus today was on speaking voices, I feel this blog wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to singer and Lancaster County native James Wolpert, a competitor on Season 5 of NBC’s hit singing competition “The Voice.” James made it to the top 6 as part of Adam Levine’s team and finished the season in fifith place.

Best of luck as you use your own voice to make a lasting impression on millions!