7 Famous Voices You Recognize (But Probably Don’t Know Their Names)

    May 9, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Announcers are the unsung heroes of television and movies. There unmistakeable voices are sometimes so recognizable that they can literally sell a product on their own. Here are seven voices you probably recognize but aren’t really sure why.

    Mason Adams

    Though he did hold a few notable television roles (Lou Grant, Another World) Adams is probably most recognizable as the voice of Smucker’s preserves and came around much like the Easter Bunny every Easter to voice the Cadbury Cream Egg commercials. In the 1980s, Adams voice work on TV commercials for Sherwin-Williams Paints, Kix cereal, Dentyne and Swanson. In some of the early episodes of Sesame Street, he voiced a cartoon featuring a “jazzy” triangle, and a “square” square.

    Michael Buffer

    Diehard sports fans, casual fans and even those that hate sports all recognize the “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!” catchphrase even if half the world couldn’t tell you the name of the announcer that made it famous. Michael Buffer is a professional ring announcer for boxing and professional wrestling matches. Buffer began using the phrase in the early 1980s. By 1992, he acquired a federal trademark for the phrase. Buffer uses his famous phrase in various licensing deals including the platinum selling album Jock Jams and in the video games Ready 2 Rumble Boxing and Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2. Buffer has used variations of the phrase in ads for Mega Millions lottery in which he says “Let’s get ready to Win Big!” and Kraft Cheese commercials in which he says “Let’s get ready to Crumble!”

    Don Pardo

    Don Pardo was the announcer for the very first episode of Saturday Night Live and has been the announcer for almost every episode since (he missed one season) but Pardo’s career at NBC started almost fifty years ago. He has been the announcer for numerous famous game shows over the years including The Price Is Right, Jeopardy and Jackpot! Pardo was the voice of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on NBC until 1999. Pardo retired from NBC officially in 2004 but still does the announcing for SNL from his home in Tucson, Arizona.

    Don LaFontaine

    Before his passing in 2008, LaFontaine was known as the “Voice of God” after lending his pipes to “more than 5,000 film trailers and hundreds of thousands of television advertisements, network promotions, and video game trailers.” He became identified with the phrase “In a world…” which now begins almost every damn movie trailer. LaFontaine was a recurring guest narrator on the Jeopardy! and appeared on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

    D.C. Douglas

    D.C. Douglas is voice over performer in TV and radio commercials as well as voice-matching celebrities. His credits include The Master in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” video game and Albert Wesker in “Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.” Douglas voiced the McDonald’s “Be The Sizzle” commercials but his most notable work is the celebrity GEICO insurance commercials. Douglas has done some acting work that includes roles on The Bold and the Beautiful, 24, Star Trek: Enterprise, NYPD Blue, ER, Charmed and Without a Trace.

    Thurl Ravenscroft

    Sounding more like a Spider-Man villain or a WWE wrestler, Ravenscroft’s name isn’t recognizable but his voice is unmistakeable. For 53 years, he was best-known as the voice of Tony the Tiger in more than 500 television commercials for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Ravenscroft was the uncredited vocalist of the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the Christmas television special of the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Ravenscroft’s voice can been heard in many Disneyland and Walt Disney World attractions including the Country Bear Jamboree and Haunted Mansion.

    Frank Oz

    What do Miss Piggy, Fozie Bear and Yoda all have in common? Besides being puppets with hand up their butts. They are all voiced by the same guy, Frank Oz, who lends his vocals to many of the Muppets including Animal, Sam the Eagle, Grover, Cookie Monster and Bert on Sesame Street. Oz is also an actor and director, including Little Shop of Horrors, The Dark Crystal and Death at a Funeral. In addition to performing, Oz has been one of the primary collaborators responsible for the development of the Muppets over the last 30 years.

    1. Disney_Fan says:

      Disney has recently added new features to its Haunted Mansion attraction at the Magic Kingdom, including several interactive elements found in the queue line outside the front entrance. One of those is a representation of the organ that’s in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansionl that guests can play to hear “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Inscribed on the organ is the word “Ravenscroft,” a tribute to Thurl Ravenscroft, the lead vocalist of the singing busts inside the Mansion.

    2. David says:

      Would have liked to have seen Cam Clarke on here

    3. TheReviewer says:

      It’s funny, I didn’t expect Tony the Tiger’s voice to come from Thurl Ravenscroft.

    4. Elliott says:

      How the hell could you forget Frank Welker?

    5. Dave Mallow says:

      I know this wasn’t intended as a ‘best’ list, but Peter Thomas is one of the all-time greats and should be included in any list of notables. He’s worked out of the New York market for decades and has logged hundreds of spots and narrations. You can hear him currently on ads for Burger King. One of my voice heroes. .

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