Legendary Voice Actor Alan Bleviss Dies At 76

Jan 9, 2018
Originally published on January 9, 2018 9:53 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now we're going to remember a man who set a standard for movie trailers and commercials. His name was Alan Bleviss.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ALAN BLEVISS: "Sex, Lies And Videotape."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A. BLEVISS: "Scarface" - for one brief moment, the world was his.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A. BLEVISS: Bad time, good time - "Ragtime."

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

His voice was in big demand starting in the 1970s and '80s.

GARY HOCHBERG: When casting directors or copywriters would call, they would say, I want a voice like Alan Bleviss.

MCEVERS: Gary Hochberg is a former talent agent who booked Alan Bleviss for ads, including this very lucrative gig.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A. BLEVISS: Aleve - all-day strong all day long.

SHAPIRO: He was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1941 the son of a successful businessman. When Alan Bleviss went to college, he lied to his father, saying he was studying law. He was actually acting, and his father never forgave him.

MCEVERS: After school, he moved to the U.S. to New York City. That's where he got his first paid voiceover job. It was for Canada Dry ginger ale. More commercials followed, and eventually he was voicing Hollywood movie trailers. His kids loved it.

SARAH BLEVISS: I always thought he had this really beautiful, strong, commanding voice.

MCEVERS: That's his daughter Sarah Bleviss. Her sister, Lisa, says they always got a kick out of hearing his work.

LISA BLEVISS: When I was a young child, I frequently would be sitting in the movie theaters with friends, and we would hear a movie trailer. It would come on, and I would whisper to my friends, that's my dad.

SHAPIRO: When he reached the height of his career in the late-'80s, he began to suffer from a nerve disorder which temporarily paralyzed him and left him without a voice. His daughters say therapy with a former Israeli drill sergeant helped him regain his voice.

MCEVERS: That's who he was, they say - a strong guy that matched his strong voice. Alan Bleviss died on December 30 from cancer. He was 76. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.