It’s … The Voice

Voices 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.  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 and made baseball

fun in Field of Dreams.  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.  His deep,

booming voice could scare anyone!  “Luke, I am your father.”



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

and Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Show, and Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover from Sesame Street.


Gilbert Gottfried
Some voices are pleasant and soothing to the ears, while others are, well … not!  Gilbert Gottfried fits in the second category.  While he’s mostly worked on TV shows and commercials, Gottfried is famous for his role as Iago the parrot in the animated film Aladdin, and 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, currently a competitor on NBC’s hit singing competition “The Voice.”  James has made it into the Top Ten!  Best of luck as you use your own voice to make a lasting impression on millions!!



Donna Haefner is a member of American Music Theatre’s Marketing Department.  She can be reached at