A voice that almost everyone has heard — although few people outside the advertising and broadcasting industries probably knew who it was — has died.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Lee Marshall, the announcer who voiced the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes icon Tony the Tiger since 1999, died April 26.
Marshall died of esophageal cancer at 64, the story reports.
“A sports broadcaster and a rock 'n' roll deejay as well as a ring announcer and voiceover artist, Marshall spoke in deep, rich, practically evangelical tones that turned out to be ideal for selling cereal and a whole lot more,” the story notes.
The report adds: "The original Tony the Tiger was an actor named Thurl Ravenscroft, whose line 'They're g-r-r-r-e-a-t resonated across the airwaves from 1952 until months before his 2005 death at age 91. In interviews, Marshall said he started helping out as Tony when Ravenscroft was in his 80s and had an increasingly difficult time with dialogue."
Marshall was more likely to provide the voice of cartoon villains instead of heroes. He was often asked by fans to perform Tony the Tiger’s voice, but a friend told the L.A. Times that he wouldn’t do it if children were around. "He was very protective of Tony's image,” Tom Kelly of radio station KRTH-101 told the publication.