Lee Marshall, the booming basso profondo voice behind Tony the Tiger, is dead at 64. The voice actor’s son confirmed to Huffington Post the cause of death was esophageal cancer.
Marshall first earned his stripes in 1999, lending his voice to the Kellogg’s character in assistance to Thurl Ravenscroft. Ravenscroft, who had voiced the character since 1952, began experiencing vocal issues. Marshall took over full-time in 2005.
There’s no word yet on who will take over the voice of cereal’s most beloved and well-known mascot, but the search is on. John Sheehy, of Chicago’s Leo Burnett ad agency, spoke with CBS about how they will approach it.
“There’s a lot of voiceover talent, but there’s that certain timber that comes with the ‘They’re GR-R-REAT’ and that’s hard to capture,” Sheehy said. “It’s really looking for that tone of voice.”
Grab yourself an oversized bowl, pour in a sugar-coated blanket of comfort and let’s remember Tony the Tiger, circa 1999-2005.
Hockey Goalie Tony:
Basketball Star Tony:
“We Are Tigers” Chant: