Tony Jay: Playlist for the Ultimate Voice-Over Villain

I tend to talk up voice actors here in the Houston Press blogs. Part of it is because I'm trying to justify entering my fourth decade on Earth and still being mesmerized by cartoons, but a lot of it is because I think that the discipline represents one of the most underrated acting skills of all time. Just because he was in a feature film, people still consider George Clooney a better Batman than Kevin Conroy, even though I can produce a chart proving that is not possible.

Of all the behind-the-mike talent that I write fan letters to, none is bigger or better in my opinion than the sorely missed Tony Jay, who passed away on this day in 2006 from complications related to lung surgery. He was 73, but still incredibly active and much sought after for his deep, menacing voice. I still tear up a little when I happen to be home with the Kid With One F and we're watching Jay's Spiderus use his sinister timbre to try and deal with fatherhood in Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends.

So here's to you, Tony. This week's playlist is dedicated to your work and the impact you had on the art of voice acting. It's a sadder world without you.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner