Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Voices from Heaven

Aren't there always those actors that just have that extra something that make them more memorable? Of course I'm referring to their voices. What else would I be talking about? (You people are sick.) Taking a page out of Ruth's book, I examine a few of my personal favorites.

Richard Burton
I have a weakness for actors who have elegant voices and play not-so-elegant roles. Mr. Burton is one such actor. He had a self-loathing tone in his voice, which add a certain air to his performances. Oh, if there were more actors like him today.

Benedict Cumberbatch
When I first saw him, I didn't think much of him. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him act and, most importantly, heard him speak in Sherlock (which is pretty much the best show on the air right now). Now he's an actor I'm keeping a close eye on. (Oh, and his reading of "Ode to a Nightingale" is to die for.)

Colin Firth
I couldn't help but notice the slight irony of casting Firth in the title role in The King's Speech. I mean, here's an actor who has a wonderful voice, and he can't bring himself to speak. I can't be the only one who saw that.

Henry Fonda
His voice possessed an assertive tone that always made him the voice of reason. (12 Angry Men and The Ox-Bow Incident are prime examples.) It just worked.

Burt Lancaster
Mr. Lancaster has, without a doubt, the smoothest vocals I ever heard. Personally I'm not too surprised that most of the films I saw him in had his character delivering a speech or a monologue of some sort. What can I say? Hollywood liked the way he spoke.

Jude Law
He's a smooth talker, no doubt about that. Several of his roles emphasize that trait. Personally I like how he can be charming and a bastard in the same movie.

James Mason
Like Mr. Burton, Mr. Mason had an elegant Welsh accent yet he played parts that were anything but elegant (ie, Bigger Than Life, Lolita). Like I said, it's a weakness of mine.

Robert Mitchum
If there was one person who could personify the "I don't give a fuck" attitude, that person was Robert Mitchum. His drawl, as well as his mannerisms, best embodied this behavior, and is best seen in the many noirs he was in.

Laurence Olivier
Not gonna lie, this man made Shakespeare interesting to me. And that's saying a lot. Oh, and he's also a marvelous actor.

Peter O'Toole
Many of his roles had him as aloof and indifferent to the society he was a part of. Yet his voice suggests otherwise. Oh, contradictions, how I love thee.


Humphrey Bogart
Robert Downey, Jr.
Ralph Fiennes
Cary Grant
Tom Hiddleston
William Holden
Jack Lemmon
Paul Newman
Gregory Peck
Sidney Poitier
Who are some actors you like with splendid voices?


  1. NICE! Well you already know who I think has a splendid voice... he's only a runner up?? Come on! :D Well I'll let you know what I think of Burton once I see him in something, ahah. For the contemporary actors, I adore Hiddleston's voice, I love the way his mouth moves as he speaks too, ahah.

    1. Hey, be grateful he made the list. He wasn't on the original draft.

  2. Cumberbatch's voice is like a gift from God to women. The power it wields is just staggering.
    Solid list all in all. I love the voices of Alan Rickman's and Andrew Garfield's too.

    1. Oh God yes in regards to Benedict's voice. Seriously, you should have seen the look on my face when I first heard it.


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