Paul Frees

Paul Frees

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Encyclopedia
Paul Frees was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 voice actor
Voice acting
Voice acting is the art of providing voices for animated characters and radio and audio dramas and comedy, as well as doing voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides.Performers are called...

 and character actor
Character actor
A character actor is one who predominantly plays unusual or eccentric characters. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a character actor as "an actor who specializes in character parts", defining character part in turn as "an acting role displaying pronounced or unusual characteristics or...

.

Biography


He was born Solomon Hersh Frees in Chicago. Frees had an unusually wide four-octave voice range that would enable him to voice everything from the thundering basso profundo of the unseen "Ghost Host" in the Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a dark ride located at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. A significantly re-imagined incarnation of the ride, known as Phantom Manor, is located in Disneyland Paris...

 attraction at Disneyland to the squeaky voice of the Little Green Sprout in Green Giant vegetable commercials. He began his acting career in 1942 and remained active for over 40 years. During that time, he was involved in more than 250 films, cartoons and TV appearances; like many voice actors, his appearances were often uncredited.

Frees' early radio career was cut short when he was drafted into World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 where he fought at Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 on D-Day
D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

. He was wounded in action and was returned to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 for a year of recuperation. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute
Chouinard Art Institute
The Chouinard Art Institute was a professional art school founded in 1921 in Los Angeles, California, by Nelbert Murphy Chouinard .-Founder:...

 under the G.I. Bill. When his first wife's health failed, he decided to drop out and return to radio work. He appeared frequently on Hollywood radio series, including Escape
Escape (radio program)
Escape was radio's leading anthology series of high-adventure radio dramas, airing on CBS from July 7, 1947 to September 25, 1954. Since the program did not have a regular sponsor like Suspense, it was subjected to frequent schedule shifts and lower production budgets, although Richfield Oil signed...

, playing lead roles and alternating with William Conrad
William Conrad
William Conrad was an American actor, producer and director whose career spanned five decades in radio, film and television....

 as the opening announcer of Suspense
Suspense (radio program)
-Production background:One of the premier drama programs of the Golden Age of Radio, was subtitled "radio's outstanding theater of thrills" and focused on suspense thriller-type scripts, usually featuring leading Hollywood actors of the era...

in the late 1940s, and parts on Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West....

, (doing a passable impersonation of Howard McNear as Doc Adams for at least one episode, "The Cast"), and Crime Classics
Crime Classics
Crime Classics was a U. S. radio docudrama which aired as a sustaining series over CBS from June 15, 1953, to June 30, 1954.Created, produced, and directed by radio actor/director Elliott Lewis, the program was a historical true crime series, examining crimes and murders from the past...

. One of his few starring roles in this medium was as Jethro Dumont in the 1949 series The Green Lama, as well as a syndicated anthology series The Player, in which Frees narrated and played all of the parts.

Frees was often called upon in the 1950s and 1960s to "re-loop" the dialogue of other actors, often to correct for foreign accents, lack of English proficiency, or poor line readings by non-professionals. These dubs extended from a few lines to entire roles. This can be noticed rather clearly in the film Midway
Midway (film)
Midway is a 1976 war film directed by Jack Smight and produced byWalter Mirisch from a screenplay by Donald S. Sanford. The music score was by John Williams and the cinematography by Harry Stradling, Jr...

where Frees reads for Toshirō Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
Toshirō Mifune was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo...

's performance as Admiral Yamamoto; or in the film Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot is an American comedy film, made in 1958 and released in 1959, which was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and George Raft. The supporting cast includes Joe E. Brown, Pat O'Brien and Nehemiah Persoff. The film is a remake by Wilder and I....

, in which Frees provides the voice of funeral director Mozzarella. Frees also dubbed the entire role of Eddie in the Disney film The Ugly Dachshund
The Ugly Dachshund
The Ugly Dachshund is a 1966 Walt Disney Productions feature film starring Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette in a story about a Great Dane who believes he's a dachshund. Based on a 1938 novel by Gladys Bronwyn Stern, the film was written by Albert Aley and directed by Norman Tokar...

, replacing actor Dick Wessel
Dick Wessel
Dick Wessel was an American film actor. Born in Wisconsin, Wessel appeared in over 270 films between 1935 and 1966. He is best remembered for his chilling portrayal of the ruthless strangler Harry "Cueball" Lake in Dick Tracy vs...

, who had died of a sudden heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 after completion of principal photography. Frees also reportedly dubbed for Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

 in his final film The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall is a film noir directed by Mark Robson, featuring Humphrey Bogart in his last film before his death in 1957. The film was written by Philip Yordan and based on the 1947 novel by Budd Schulberg....

. Bogart was suffering at the time from what would be diagnosed as esphageal cancer and thus could barely be heard in some takes, hence the need for Frees to dub in his voice.

Unlike many voice actors who did most of their work for one studio, Frees worked extensively with at least nine of the major animation production companies of the 20th century: Walt Disney Studios, Walter Lantz Studios, UPA
United Productions of America
United Productions of America, better known as UPA, was an American animation studio of the 1940s through present day, beginning with industrial films and World War II training films. In the late 1940s, UPA produced theatrical shorts for Columbia Pictures, most notably the Mr. Magoo series. In...

, Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th century...

, Filmation
Filmation
Filmation Associates was an American production company that produced animation and live action programming for television during the latter half of the 20th century. Located in Reseda, California, the animation studio was founded in 1963...

, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
DePatie-Freleng Enterprises was a Hollywood-based animation production company, active from 1963 to 1981. They produced theatrical cartoons, animated series, commercials, title sequences and television specials. Notable among these is The Pink Panther film titles and cartoon shorts and the Dr....

, Jay Ward Productions
Jay Ward Productions
Jay Ward Productions was an Amercian animated television cartoon series production company, founded in 1949 by American animator Jay Ward. It made extensive use of limited animation techniques....

 and Rankin/Bass
Rankin/Bass
Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc. , also known as Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment, was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop-motion animation. The pre-1974 library is currently owned by Classic Media,while the post-1974 library is...

.

Frees was active until his sudden death at the age of 66 from heart failure on November 2, 1986. He was living in Tiburon, California
Tiburon, California
Tiburon is an incorporated town in Marin County, California. It occupies most of the Tiburon Peninsula, which reaches south into the San Francisco Bay. The smaller city of Belvedere occupies the south-east part of the peninsula and is contiguous with Tiburon...

 at the time. Frees was cremated
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 and his ashes were scattered upon the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

.

There have been homages to Frees by fellow voice actor Corey Burton
Corey Burton
Corey Burton is an American voice actor, perhaps best known as Count Dooku, Ziro the Hutt and Cad Bane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Brainiac in the DC animated universe and Spike Witwicky and Shockwave in the Transformers universe...

, who happens to have matched the voices Frees used for some of his characters. Burton has re-recorded introductions for some Disneyland attractions that were originally recorded by Frees. In some cases, the original Frees introductions were simply worn out due to overuse. In other cases, the introductions were changed slightly to reflect updated safety standards and thus necessitated a re-recording.

Disney


Some of Paul Frees' most memorable voices were for various Disney
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

 projects. Frees voiced Disney's Professor Ludwig Von Drake
Ludwig Von Drake
Professor Ludwig von Drake is one of Walt Disney's cartoon and comic book characters. He was first introduced on September 24, 1961, as the presenter in the cartoon An Adventure in Color, part of the first show of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on NBC...

 in eighteen episodes of the Disney anthology television series
Disney anthology television series
The Walt Disney anthology television series refers to a television series which has been produced by the Walt Disney Company under several different titles from 1955 to 2008...

, beginning with the first episode of the newly-renamed Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on September 24, 1961. The character also appeared on many Disneyland Records
Disneyland Records
Disneyland Records is the original name of the Walt Disney Company's record company.After long associations with primarily RCA Victor Records, with a few select titles on Capitol, Disneyland Records was established by the Disney studio in 1956 with its first release entitled A Child's Garden of...

. Von Drake's introductory cartoon, An Adventure in Color, featured The Spectrum Song
The Spectrum Song
"The Spectrum Song" was written by the Sherman Brothers in 1961 under assignment from Walt Disney to be a signature song for the fictional character Ludwig Von Drake...

, sung by Frees as Von Drake. A different Frees recording of this song appeared on a children's record, and was later reissued on CD.

Frees narrated a number of Disney cartoons, including the Disney educational short film Donald in Mathmagic Land
Donald in Mathmagic Land
Donald in Mathmagic Land is a 27-minute Donald Duck featurette released on June 26, 1959. It was directed by Hamilton Luske. Contributors included Disney artists John Hench and Art Riley, voice talent Paul Frees, and scientific expert Heinz Haber, who had worked on the Disney space shows. It was...

. This short originally aired in the same television episode as Von Drake's first appearance.

Frees also provided voices for numerous characters at Disney parks, including the unseen "Ghost Host" in the Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a dark ride located at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. A significantly re-imagined incarnation of the ride, known as Phantom Manor, is located in Disneyland Paris...

 attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and several audio-animatronic
Audio-Animatronics
Audio-Animatronics is the registered trademark for a form of robotics created by Walt Disney Imagineering for shows and attractions at Disney theme parks, and subsequently expanded on and used by other companies. The robots move and make noise, generally in speech or song...

 pirates, including the Auctioneer, in the Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean (theme park ride)
Pirates of the Caribbean is a log flume type of dark ride at the Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris theme parks....

 ride. Disney eventually issued limited edition compact disc
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

s commemorating the two rides, featuring outtakes and unused audio tracks by Frees and others. Frees also provided narration for the Tomorrowland attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space
Adventure Thru Inner Space
Adventure Thru Inner Space, presented by Monsanto Company, was an attraction in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. It was the first attraction to utilize Disney's Omnimover system....

 (1967–1985). Audio clips from the attractions in Frees' distinctive voice have even appeared in fireworks shows at Disneyland. A computer-animated singing bust in Frees' likeness appeared in the 2003 film The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion (film)
The Haunted Mansion is a 2003 American comedy horror family film which is based on The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney theme parks. The film is directed by Rob Minkoff, and stars Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Jennifer Tilly, Marsha Thomason, and Nathaniel Parker...

as an homage. Similarly, audio recordings of Frees from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction can be heard in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in a homage to the ride. Frees also had a small live action role for Disney in the 1959 film The Shaggy Dog
The Shaggy Dog (1959 film)
The Shaggy Dog is a black and white 1959 Walt Disney film about Wilby Daniels, a teenage boy who is transformed into an Old English Sheepdog by an enchanted ring of the Borgias. The film was based on the story, The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten...

, playing Dr. Galvin, a military psychiatrist who attempts to understand why Mr. Daniels believes a shaggy dog can uncover a spy ring.

His other Disney credits, most of them narration for segments of the Disney anthology television series
Disney anthology television series
The Walt Disney anthology television series refers to a television series which has been produced by the Walt Disney Company under several different titles from 1955 to 2008...

, include the following:
  • The "Man in Space
    Man in Space
    Man in Space is an episode of Disneyland which originally aired on March 9, 1955. It was directed by Disney animator Ward Kimball. Later, it was edited into a featurette to play in theaters, accompanying Davy Crockett and the River Pirates. This Disneyland episode , was narrated partly by Kimball...

    " series of shows (TV, 1954)
  • From Aesop to Hans Christian Andersen (TV, 1955)
  • The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca (TV miniseries, 1958)
  • Tales of Texas John Slaughter (TV miniseries, 1958)
  • The Shaggy Dog
    The Shaggy Dog (1959 film)
    The Shaggy Dog is a black and white 1959 Walt Disney film about Wilby Daniels, a teenage boy who is transformed into an Old English Sheepdog by an enchanted ring of the Borgias. The film was based on the story, The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten...

    (film, 1959)
  • The Absent-Minded Professor
    The Absent-Minded Professor
    The Absent-Minded Professor is a 1961 black-and-white Walt Disney Productions film based on the short story A Situation of Gravity, by Samuel W. Taylor....

    (film, 1961)
  • Moochie of Pop Warner Football (TV, 1960)
  • The Monkey's Uncle
    The Monkey's Uncle
    The Monkey's Uncle is a 1965 Walt Disney production starring Tommy Kirk as genius college student Merlin Jones and Annette Funicello as his girlfriend, Jennifer. The title refers to a chimpanzee named Stanley, Merlin's legal "nephew" ; Stanley otherwise has little relevance to the plot...

    (film, 1965)


For his contributions to the Disney legacy, Frees was honored posthumously as a Disney Legend
Disney Legends
Established in 1987, the Disney Legends program recognizes people who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to The Walt Disney Company. The honor is awarded annually during a special ceremony....

 on October 9, 2006.

Jay Ward Productions


Frees was a regular presence in Jay Ward
Jay Ward
J Troplong "Jay" Ward was an American creator and producer of animated television cartoons. He produced animated series based on such characters as Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, Tom Slick, and Super Chicken...

 cartoons
Animated cartoon
An animated cartoon is a short, hand-drawn film for the cinema, television or computer screen, featuring some kind of story or plot...

, providing the voices of Boris Badenov
Boris Badenov
Boris Badenov is a fictional character in the 1960s animated cartoons Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, collectively referred to as Rocky and Bullwinkle for short. He is voiced by Paul Frees....

, Inspector Fenwick (from Dudley Do-Right
Dudley Do-Right
Dudley Do-Right, created by Alex Anderson, is the eponymous hero of a segment on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show which parodied early 20th century melodrama and silent film in the form of the Northern genre....

)
, Ape in George of the Jungle
George of the Jungle
George of the Jungle was an American animated series produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott, who created The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The character George was inspired by the legend of Tarzan. It ran for 17 episodes on Saturday mornings from September 9 to December 30, 1967, on the American TV...

, and the Hoppity Hooper
Hoppity Hooper
Hoppity Hooper is a 1964 animated television series produced by Jay Ward, originally broadcast on ABC and co-sponsored by General Mills and Topper Toys.-Series premise:...

narrator, among numerous others.

Rankin/Bass


Frees is well-remembered for many characters in Rankin/Bass cartoons and stop-motion animated TV specials, including the central villain Burgermeister Meisterburger and his assistant Grimsby in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (TV special)
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion television special, made by Rankin-Bass with models carved from wood . The film stars actor Fred Astaire as S.D. Kluger, the narrator, and Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus...

(1970). He was also the traffic cop, ticket-taker, and Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

 in Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman
"Frosty the Snowman" is a popular song written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950. It was written after the success of Autry's recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the previous year; Rollins and Nelson shipped the...

in 1969. He was several voices, including Eon the Terrible, in Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Rudolph's Shiny New Year is the 1976 stop-motion animated sequel to the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced by Rankin/Bass.-Plot:...

in 1976. In 1968, he appeared as Captain Jones in the Thanksgiving special The Mouse on the Mayflower
The Mouse on the Mayflower
The Mouse on the Mayflower is a 1968 animated Thanksgiving television special created by Rankin/Bass. It debuted on NBC on November 23, 1968. The special is about a mouse named Willum, who is discovered on the Mayflower. Tennessee Ernie Ford voices Willum and narrates.-External links:* at IMDb...

, and that Christmas he appeared as the father of the Drummer Boy, Ali, and as the three Wise Men in The Little Drummer Boy. He provided the voices for several J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

 characters (most notably the dwarf Bombur) in Rankin/Bass animated versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King
The Return of the King (1980 film)
The Return of the King, also known as The Return of the King: A Story of the Hobbits, is a 1980 animated television special created by Rankin/Bass and Topcraft. The film is an adaptation of the third volume in The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R...

. He also voiced King Haggard's wizard Mabruk in The Last Unicorn
The Last Unicorn (film)
The Last Unicorn is a 1982 fantasy film produced by Rankin/Bass for ITC Entertainment and animated by Topcraft. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the film's screenplay...

and provided several voices for the Jackson Five cartoon series between 1971 and 1973.

The following Rankin Bass TV specials or films played by Paul Frees including:
  • The Little Drummer Boy (1968) Voice of Aaron's Father and The Three Wise Men
  • Frosty the Snowman
    Frosty the Snowman (TV program)
    Frosty the Snowman is an American animated television special based on the popular song of the same title. The program, which first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS , was produced for television by Rankin/Bass and featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as narrator and Jackie Vernon as the...

    (1969) Voice of Policeman, Ticketman, and Santa Claus
  • The Mad, Mad, Mad Comedians
    The Mad, Mad, Mad Comedians
    The Mad, Mad, Mad Comedians is an animated half-hour ABC television special produced by Rankin/Bass Animation, best known for their stop-motion Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The show aired on April 7, 1970 before the airing of that year's Oscars...

    (1970) Voice of Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, and W.C Fields (uncredited)
  • Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
    Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (TV special)
    Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is a 1970 stop motion television special, made by Rankin-Bass with models carved from wood . The film stars actor Fred Astaire as S.D. Kluger, the narrator, and Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus...

    (1970) Voice of Burgermeister Meisterburger and Grimsby
  • Here Comes Peter Cottontail
    Here Comes Peter Cottontail
    Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a 1971 Easter television special made by Rankin-Bass, based on a 1957 novel by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich entitled The Easter Bunny That Overslept. The title of the special is from the Easter song "Here Comes Peter Cottontail", which is also heard in the special....

    (1971) Voice of Colonel Wellington Bunny's assistant, Man at Thanksgiving Table, and Santa Claus
  • Frosty's Winter Wonderland
    Frosty's Winter Wonderland
    Frosty's Winter Wonderland is an animated Christmas television special produced in 1976 by Rankin-Bass. It is a sequel to the 1969 Frosty the Snowman special, also written by Romeo Muller, with narration provided by Andy Griffith...

    (1976) Voice of Jack Frost
  • Rudolph's Shiny New Year
    Rudolph's Shiny New Year
    Rudolph's Shiny New Year is the 1976 stop-motion animated sequel to the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced by Rankin/Bass.-Plot:...

    (1976) Voice of 1776, Santa Claus, General Ticker, and Aeon
  • The Hobbit (1977) Voice of Bombur and Troll #1
  • Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
    Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
    Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin-Bass. It was first aired in 1977, and its plot is similar to an earlier Rankin-Bass special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.- Plot :...

    (1977) Voice of Olaf and Donkey Dealer
  • Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July is a feature-length 1979 Rankin-Bass crossover sequel filmed in stop-motion animation in the style of their 1964 Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was 97 minutes long. Although designed as a theatrical release , it made its U.S...

    (1979) Voice of Jack Frost, Policeman, and Winterbolt
  • Jack Frost
    Jack Frost (TV special)
    Jack Frost was an animated television special, directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. and written by Romeo Muller; it premiered on NBC on December 13, 1979. This stop motion animated special tells the tale of Jack Frost, the winter sprite, and his adventures as a human...

    (1979) Voice of Father Winter and Kubla Kraus
  • The Return of the King
    The Return of the King (1980 film)
    The Return of the King, also known as The Return of the King: A Story of the Hobbits, is a 1980 animated television special created by Rankin/Bass and Topcraft. The film is an adaptation of the third volume in The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R...

    (1980) Voice of Orc, Uruk-hai, and Elrond
  • The Last Unicorn
    The Last Unicorn (film)
    The Last Unicorn is a 1982 fantasy film produced by Rankin/Bass for ITC Entertainment and animated by Topcraft. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the film's screenplay...

    (1982) Voice of Mabruk

Other voice work


Frees voiced all characters, except the lead role, in the US versions of Belvision's The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin (TV series)
The Adventures of Tintin is an animated television series based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of books by Hergé. It debuted in 1991, and 39 half-hour episodes were produced over the course of three seasons...

cartoons, based on the books by Hergé
Hergé
Georges Prosper Remi , better known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian comics writer and artist. His best known and most substantial work is the 23 completed comic books in The Adventures of Tintin series, which he wrote and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983, although he was also...

. In the 1956 Cinemascope
CinemaScope
CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

 Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry are the cat and mouse cartoon characters that were evolved starting in 1939.Tom and Jerry also may refer to:Cartoon works featuring the cat and mouse so named:* The Tom and Jerry Show...

 cartoon, Blue Cat Blues
Blue Cat Blues
Blue Cat Blues is the 103rd one reel animated Tom and Jerry short, created in 1956, directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with music by Scott Bradley...

, he was Jerry's voice who narrated the short; he had also voiced Jerry's cousin Muscles in Jerry's Cousin
Jerry's Cousin
Jerry's Cousin is a 1951 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 57th Tom and Jerry short. Made in 1950, but released in 1951 on April 7 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it was nominated for the 1950 Academy Award for Best Short Cartoon, but lost to Gerald McBoing-Boing, a UPA production...

five years earlier. His most famous role(s) were the cannibals in the banned Tom and Jerry episode "His Mouse Friday" where he said lines like "Mmmmm, barbequed cat!" and "Mmmmm, barbequed mouse!"

For the 1962 Christmas special Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol, produced by UPA
United Productions of America
United Productions of America, better known as UPA, was an American animation studio of the 1940s through present day, beginning with industrial films and World War II training films. In the late 1940s, UPA produced theatrical shorts for Columbia Pictures, most notably the Mr. Magoo series. In...

, Paul Frees voiced several characters, including Fezziwig
Fezziwig
Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig are characters featured in the Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol. Mr. Fezziwig is the owner of a warehouse business; Ebenezer Scrooge and Dick Wilkins worked as apprentices for him. Mr. Fezziwig is a happy, foppish man with a large Welsh wig. In Stave 2 of A...

, the Charity Man, two of the opportunists who steal from the dead man (Eyepatch Man and Tall Tophat Man) and Mister Magoo's Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 director. He subsequently provided numerous voices for further cartoons in the series that followed, The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo
The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo
The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo is an animated television series, produced by United Productions of America, which aired for one season...

.

Frees provided the voices of both John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 and George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 in the 1965 The Beatles cartoon series, the narrator, Big D and Fluid Man in the 1966 cartoon series, Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles
Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles
Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles was an American Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1966. It premiered on September 10, 1966, and ran for two seasons.-Overview:...

and of The Thing
Thing (comics)
The Thing is a fictional character, a founding member of the superhero team known as the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Comics universe. He was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in The Fantastic Four #1...

 in the 1967 series Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four (1967 TV series)
Fantastic Four is an animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and the first animated series based on Marvel's comic book series Fantastic Four. The program, featuring character designs by Alex Toth, aired on ABC from 1967 to 1970. It lasted for 20 episodes, with repeat episodes airing...

, as well as President James Norcross in the 1967 cartoon series Super President
Super President
Super President was an American animated cartoon that aired Saturday mornings on NBC from September 16, 1967 to December 28, 1968. The series was produced by the DePatie-Freleng animation company.-Plot:...

. He played several roles—narrator, Chief of State, the judges and the bailiff—in the George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 / John Korty
John Korty
John Korty is an American film director and animator, best known for the television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and the documentary Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?, as well as the theatrical animated feature Twice Upon a Time...

 animated film, Twice Upon a Time.

Frees provided the voice-over for the trailer to the 1971 Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

 thriller, Play Misty for Me
Play Misty for Me
Play Misty for Me is a 1971 American psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, in his directorial debut. Jessica Walter and Donna Mills co-star. The original music score was composed by Dee Barton.-Plot:...

.

In television commercials, he was the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy
Pillsbury Doughboy
Poppin' Fresh, more widely known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is an advertising icon and mascot of The Pillsbury Company, appearing in many of their commercials. Many commercials from 1965 until 2004 conclude with a human finger poking the Doughboy's stomach...

, the 7-Up bird Fresh-Up Freddie, Froot Loops
Froot Loops
Froot Loops is a brand of breakfast cereal produced by Kellogg's and sold in Hungary, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Germany, The Middle East, The Caribbean, South Africa, Latin America, Sweden and Finland...

 spokesbird Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam
Toucan Sam is the cartoon mascot for Froot Loops breakfast cereal. The character has been featured in advertising since the 1960s. He exhibits the ability to smell out Froot Loops from great distances and invariably locates a concealed bowl of the cereal while intoning, "Follow my nose! It always...

 (previously voiced by Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc
Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros...

, later voiced by Maurice LaMarche
Maurice LaMarche
Maurice LaMarche is an Emmy Award winning Canadian-American voice actor and former stand up comedian. He is best known for his voicework in Futurama as Kif Kroker, as Egon Spengler in The Real Ghostbusters, Verminous Skumm and Duke Nukem in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Big Bob Pataki in Hey...

), Boo-Berry in the series of monster cereal
General Mills monster-themed breakfast cereals
General Mills monster-themed breakfast cereals are five current and formerly distributed breakfast cereal brands in North America. The series includes Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, and the discontinued Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy.-History:In 1971, the first two cereals in the...

 commercials, and the Little Green Sprout, who called out to the Jolly Green Giant, "Hey, Green Giant, what's new besides ho-ho-ho?"

Frees narrated many live action films and television series, including Naked City
Naked City (TV series)
Naked City is a police drama series which aired from 1958 to 1963 on the ABC television network. It was inspired by the 1948 motion picture of the same name, and mimics its dramatic "semi-documentary" format....

(1958–1963). Frees also provided the voice of the eccentric billionaire John Beresford Tipton, always seated in his chair with his back to the viewer while talking to his employee Michael Anthony (fellow voice-artist Marvin Miller
Marvin Miller (actor)
Marvin Elliott Miller was an American film and voice-over actor. Possessing a deep, baritone voice, he began his career in radio in St. Louis, Missouri before becoming a Hollywood actor...

), on the dramatic series The Millionaire. He was the narrator at the beginning of the film The Disorderly Orderly
The Disorderly Orderly
The Disorderly Orderly is a 1964 American comedy film released by Paramount Pictures, and starring Jerry Lewis. The film was produced by Paul Jones with a screenplay by director Frank Tashlin, based on a story by Norm Liebermann and Ed Haas.-Plot:...

starring Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis is an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is best known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis...

. He also "looped" an actor's voice in the film The Ladies Man
The Ladies Man
The Ladies Man is a 1961 American comedy film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It was released on June 28, 1961 by Paramount.-Plot:...

also starring Jerry Lewis.

Frees had a wide range of other roles, usually heard but not seen, and frequently without screen credit. The resonance of his natural voice was similar to that of Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

, and he performed a Welles impression several times. Some highlights of his voice work are as follows:
  • Narrator for the movie The Manchurian Candidate
    The Manchurian Candidate
    The Manchurian Candidate , by Richard Condon, is a political thriller novel about the son of a prominent US political family who is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for the Communist Party....

     in 1962.
  • Narrated sixteen episodes of the NBC science fiction
    Science fiction
    Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

     television series Steve Canyon
    Steve Canyon
    Steve Canyon was a long-running American adventure comic strip by writer-artist Milton Caniff. Launched shortly after Caniff retired from his previous strip, Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon ran from January 13, 1947 until June 4, 1988, shortly after Caniff's death...

    , starring Dean Fredericks
    Dean Fredericks
    Dean Fredericks was an American actor best known for his portrayal of the comic strip character Steve Canyon in a 34-episode television series of the same name which aired from 1958-1959 on NBC. He was born Frederick Joseph Foote in Los Angeles, California...

     (1958–1959)
  • Narrated the documentary
    Documentary
    A documentary is a creative work of non-fiction, including:* Documentary film, including television* Radio documentary* Documentary photographyRelated terms include:...

     about J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Day After Trinity
    The Day After Trinity
    The Day After Trinity is a 1980 documentary film directed and produced by Jon H. Else in association with KTEH public television in San Jose, California. The film tells the story of J...

  • The Peter Lorre
    Peter Lorre
    Peter Lorre was an Austrian-American actor frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner.He caused an international sensation in 1931 with his portrayal of a serial killer who preys on little girls in the German film M...

     voice in the Spike Jones
    Spike Jones
    Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and other Warner Brothers cartoon characters, performed a drunken, hiccuping verse for 1942's "Clink! Clink! Another Drink"...

     version of the song My Old Flame. When talking softly, the voice sounds much like Lorre. When the character segués into a manic rant for a few lines, the voice anticipates the Ludwig von Drake characterization.
  • The Orson Welles
    Orson Welles
    George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

     soundalike narrator in Stan Freberg
    Stan Freberg
    Stanley Victor "Stan" Freberg is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer, and advertising creative director whose career began in 1944...

     Presents The United States of America Vol. 1
    . When Vol. 2 came out after his death, he was replaced by Corey Burton
    Corey Burton
    Corey Burton is an American voice actor, perhaps best known as Count Dooku, Ziro the Hutt and Cad Bane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Brainiac in the DC animated universe and Spike Witwicky and Shockwave in the Transformers universe...

    .
  • Another Orson Welles sound-alike as the voice of the aliens in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is an American black and white science fiction film, directed by Fred F. Sears and released by Columbia Pictures. The film is also known as Invasion of the Flying Saucers. It was ostensibly suggested by the non-fiction work Flying Saucers from Outer Space by Donald...

  • Yet again, as an Orson Welles soundalike narrator in the 1967 film The St. Valentine's Day Massacre
    The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (film)
    The St. Valentine's Day Massacre is a 1967 gangster film based on the 1929 Chicago mass murder of seven members of the Northside gang, directed against George "Bugs" Moran by Al Capone...

    .
  • The uncredited voice of the sentient supercomputer
    Supercomputer
    A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling A supercomputer is a...

     Colossus in the film Colossus: The Forbin Project
    Colossus: The Forbin Project
    Colossus: The Forbin Project is an American science fiction thriller film. It is based upon the 1966 novel Colossus, by Dennis Feltham Jones, about a massive American defense computer, named Colossus, becoming sentient and deciding to assume control of the world.-Plot:Dr. Charles A...

    .
  • Narrator of the pre-show for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
    Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, also known as The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, is the name of an attraction featuring an audio-animatronic version of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. It was originally showcased as the prime feature of the State of Illinois Pavilion at...

     at the Illinois Pavilion of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair
    1964 New York World's Fair
    The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was the third major world's fair to be held in New York City. Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding," dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe";...

    . The exhibit was produced by Disney, and later moved to Disneyland.
  • The shrouded figure of "Death" (another near-Welles characterization) in the Woody Allen
    Woody Allen
    Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

     film Love and Death
    Love and Death
    Love and Death is a 1975 comedy film by Woody Allen. Starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Love and Death is a satirical take on Russian epic novels. Coming in between Sleeper and Annie Hall, Love and Death is in many respects an artistic transition between the two...

    .
  • The narration for the spoof short film Hardware Wars
    Hardware Wars
    Hardware Wars is a short film parody of the classic science fiction film Star Wars. The thirteen-minute film, which premiered in theatres only seven months after Star Wars, consisted of little more than inside jokes and visual puns that heavily depended upon audience familiarity with the...

    (1977), which was styled as a mock film trailer, specifically parodying Orson Welles' narration of the original Star Wars
    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

    trailer.
  • Voice of KARR
    KARR (Knight Rider)
    KARR is the name of a fictional, automated, prototype vehicle featured as a major antagonist in two episodes of the television series Knight Rider and was part of a multi-episode story arc in the 2008 revived series....

     in "K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R." - a 3rd season episode of Knight Rider.
  • Voices of "Josephine" and "Daphne" (the female persona of Jack Lemmon
    Jack Lemmon
    John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

     and Tony Curtis
    Tony Curtis
    Tony Curtis was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades, but had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in over 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama...

    ' characters Jerry and Joe) in the Billy Wilder
    Billy Wilder
    Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age...

     film Some Like It Hot
    Some Like It Hot
    Some Like It Hot is an American comedy film, made in 1958 and released in 1959, which was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and George Raft. The supporting cast includes Joe E. Brown, Pat O'Brien and Nehemiah Persoff. The film is a remake by Wilder and I....

    .
  • The voice of Dr. Hu in the English language version of King Kong Escapes
    King Kong Escapes
    King Kong Escapes, released in Japan as , is a 1967 Kaiju film. A Japanese/American co-production from Toho and Rankin/Bass . Directed by Ishiro Honda and featuring special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, the film starred both American actors alongside Japanese actors...

    .
  • The voices of "Antoine" and "Alecto" in the English language version of Atoll K
    Atoll K
    Atoll K is a French/Italian film—also known as Robinson Crusoeland in the UK and Utopia in the US—starring the comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in their final screen appearance. The film co-stars French singer/actress Suzy Delair and was directed by Léo Joannon, with uncredited...

    (aka Utopia).
  • The voice of the hermit crab "Crusty" in The Incredible Mr. Limpet
    The Incredible Mr. Limpet
    The Incredible Mr. Limpet is a 1964 American live-action/animated film from Warner Bros. It is about a man named Henry Limpet who turns into a talking fish resembling a tilefish and helps the U.S. Navy locate and destroy Nazi submarines. Don Knotts plays the title character. The live action was...

    , a Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

     feature that mixed live action with animation.
  • Intro voice for Mister Terrific (TV series)
    Mister Terrific (TV series)
    Mister Terrific was an American TV sitcom that aired on CBS from January 9, to May 8, 1967. It starred Stephen Strimpell in the title role, and lasted 17 episodes. The show was similar to NBC's Captain Nice, which followed Mister Terrific on Monday nights during its run...

    , a sitcom of 17 episodes in 1967 with Stephen Strimpell
    Stephen Strimpell
    Stephen Strimpell was the star of the cult television classic Mister Terrific....

    .
  • Intro voice for Bradbury 13, a series of thirteen radio dramas featuring Ray Bradbury
    Ray Bradbury
    Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th...

     short stories, originally produced for National Public Radio by Michael McDonough at Brigham Young University, 1984.
  • Credited with singing "Dark Town Strutters Ball" in the 1971 film The Abominable Dr. Phibes
    The Abominable Dr. Phibes
    The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a 1971 horror film starring Vincent Price. Its art deco sets, dark humor and performance by Price has made the film and its sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again classics.-Plot:...

    (as heard on the film's soundtrack album
    Soundtrack album
    A soundtrack album is any album that incorporates music directly recorded from the soundtrack of a particular feature film or television program. In some cases, not all the tracks from the movie are included in the album; however there are rare cases of songs in the trailers that do not appear in...

    , along with several other songs performed in character but not used in the film).
  • Voice of the title character in the 1957 film The Cyclops
    The Cyclops
    The Cyclops is a science fiction film starring James Craig and Gloria Talbott.-Synopsis:A test pilot is missing and a search party is sent out in the jungles of Mexico...

    .
  • Narrator of extended "recap" title sequence in early first season episodes of I Dream of Jeannie
    I Dream of Jeannie
    I Dream of Jeannie is a 1960s American sitcom with a fantasy premise. The show starred Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries...

    in 1965 (and the show's "sponsor I.D." announcer during season one).
  • Recorded with Spike Jones in 1959 on the album "Spike Jones in Hi-Fi, A Spooktacular in Screaming Sound" in recordings Poisen to Poisen, My Old Flame, Everything Happens to Me and This is your Death doing the vocal and voices. Tammy: vocal by Paul Frees, Two Heads are Better than One: vocal by George Rock and Paul Frees.

Other credits


Although Frees is primarily known for his voice work (like Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc
Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros...

, he was known in the industry as "The Man of a Thousand Voices"), he was also a songwriter and screenwriter, his major work being the little-seen 1960 film The Beatniks
The Beatniks (film)
The Beatniks is a 1960 American film directed by Paul Frees. It was also featured on the movie-mocking program Mystery Science Theater 3000.-Plot:...

, a screed against the then-rising Beat
Beat
-Film:*Beat , the smallest unit of dramatic action in a play*Beat , a film about writer William Seward Burroughs*Beat , a 1998 Japanese film*Directorial beat, an exchange of behavior between characters in a screenplay...

 counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 in the vein of Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness is a well-known 1936 American propaganda exploitation film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try "marijuana" — from a hit and run accident, to manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, and descent into madness...

. In 1992, the film was "riffed" on an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. On rare occasions, Frees appeared on camera in minor roles. He played a scientist in The Thing from Another World
The Thing from Another World
The Thing from Another World , is a 1951 science fiction film based on the 1938 novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell . It tells the story of an Air Force crew and scientists at a remote Arctic research outpost who fight a malevolent plant-based alien being...

, a death-row priest in A Place in the Sun
A Place in the Sun (TV series)
A Place in the Sun is a British FreeForm/Channel 4 lifestyle programme about buying property abroad. It most often focuses on places in southern Europe, but in recent years has also featured a number of places in other areas of the world...

, and French fur trader McMasters in The Big Sky
The Big Sky (film)
The Big Sky is a 1952 Western film directed by Howard Hawks, based on the novel of the same name. The cast includes Kirk Douglas, Arthur Hunnicutt, Dewey Martin and Elizabeth Threatt....

. In 1955, he appeared as an irate husband suing his wife, played by Ann Doran
Ann Doran
Ann Lee Doran was an American character actress.-Early life and career:Born in Amarillo, Texas, Doran began acting at the age of four. She appeared in hundreds of silent films under assumed names to keep her father's family from finding out about her work...

, for alimony
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

 in an episode of CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

's sitcom The Ray Milland Show
Meet Mr. McNutley
Meet Mr. McNutley is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS Television from 1953–1955, with Ray Milland in the role of fastidious Professor Ray McNutley, the head of the English Department at the fictitious Lynnhaven College for girls...

. In Jet Pilot
Jet Pilot (film)
Jet Pilot is a 1957 Cold War romantic comedy film starring John Wayne and Janet Leigh. Written by Jules Furthman, the Technicolor movie went through several directorial changes. Josef von Sternberg directed between October, 1949 and February, 1950...

, Frees plays a menacing Soviet officer whose job is to watchdog pilot Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh , born Jeanette Helen Morrison, was an American actress. She was the wife of actor Tony Curtis from June 1951 to September 1962 and the mother of Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis....

, but instead manages to eject himself out of a parked jet, enabling Leigh to rescue John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

 and fly back to the West. He also played the voice of a war correspondent interviewing Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 while Patton is riding his horse in Patton
Patton (film)
Patton is a 1970 American biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner from a script by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H...

and also as a member of Patton's staff, and also did various voice-overs for other actors, including the voice for the sheik hosting a troop review for Patton, as well as several others.

More significantly, he played the Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

 sound-alike radio reporter in The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds (1953 film)
The War of the Worlds is a 1953 science fiction film starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. It was the first on-screen loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic novel of the same name...

, where he is seen dictating into a tape recorder as the military prepares the atomic bomb for use against the invading Martians. Memorably, Frees' character says that the recording is being made for "future history...if any." Frees also provided the opening narration on man's war escalation in the film prior to Sir Cedric Hardwicke's reciting of the H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 novel. The War of the Worlds producer George Pal
George Pál
George Pal , born György Pál Marczincsak, was a Hungarian-born American animator and film producer, principally associated with the science fiction genre...

 put Frees to work again in the 1960 fantasy film Atlantis, the Lost Continent
Atlantis, the Lost Continent
Atlantis, the Lost Continent is a 1961 science fiction film, directed by George Pal and starring Anthony Hall aka: Sal Ponti, about the destruction of Atlantis during the time of Ancient Greece.-Plot:...

and doing the opening voice-over
Voice-over
Voice-over is a production technique where a voice which is not part of the narrative is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations...

 narration for his 1975 Doc Savage
Doc Savage
Doc Savage is a fictional character originally published in American pulp magazines during the 1930s and 1940s. He was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L...

film. Frees provided the apocalyptic voices of the "talking rings" in George Pal
George Pál
George Pal , born György Pál Marczincsak, was a Hungarian-born American animator and film producer, principally associated with the science fiction genre...

's 1960 film The Time Machine
The Time Machine (1960 film)
The Time Machine is a 1960 American science fiction film based on the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells in which a man in Victorian England constructs a time-travelling machine which he uses to travel to the future...

, in which he explains the ultimate fate of humanity and the origin of the Morlocks and Eloi. Frees' voice appears in Tora! Tora! Tora! as the English language voice of the Japanese Ambassador to the United States. He also does the final ending narration after the destruction of the Earth in the first sequel to The Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a 1970 American science fiction film directed by Ted Post and written by Paul Dehn. It is the second of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs...

.

Further reading

  • Frees, Paul, The Writings of Paul Frees. (2004) (Albany: BearManor Media) ISBN 1-59393-011-9
  • Frees, Paul, You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To: The Letters of Paul “Buddy” Frees and Annelle Frees. (2011) (Albany: BearManor Media) ISBN 1-59393-646-X
  • Ohmart, Ben. Welcome ... Foolish Mortals - The Life & Voices of Paul Frees. (2004) (Albany: BearManor Media) ISBN 1-59393-004-6. Filled with rare photos & interviews.

External links