Thursday, July 15, 2010

Remembering Peter Fernandez

I regret today's announced passing of legendary voice artist and director Peter Fernandez, best-known to the general public as the voice of Speed Racer, at age 83 after a reportedly long fight with lung cancer.
Like many of his colleagues a seasoned radio actor, Peter became one of the main voice staples of the New York-based Titra Sound studios, which resulted in his perenially youthful voice -- which aged sublimely into what David White earlier today characterized as "a gravelly tenor" -- being heard in countless American International pictures imported from Italy and Japan (everything from BLACK SUNDAY and ALAKAZAM THE GREAT to MOTHRA and THE LOST WORLD OF SINBAD), as well as dubbed imports like ULTRAMAN, SPACE GIANTS, GIGANTOR, MARINE BOY, PRINCE PLANET and, of course, SPEED RACER.
He went on to direct the English versions of numerous European import features in the 1960s through the '80s, including CINEMA PARADISO and various works by Lina Wertmuller. He continued to work as a voice artist/director as recently as Nickelodeon's COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG in the late '90s, and last appeared onscreen as one of the racing commentators in the excellent live-action feature SPEED RACER a couple of years ago. He was also a very nice man.

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