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Mark Elliott, voice behind classic Disney trailers and Star Wars radio spots, dies at 81


Mark Elliott, a voice actor for a few of Disney’s most beloved film trailers, has died. He was 81. 

Elliott died Saturday in a Los Angeles hospital after struggling two coronary heart assaults, his good friend and fellow voice-over artist Charlie Van Dyke instructed The Hollywood Reporter. He additionally was battling lung most cancers. “He was certainly one of a sort … and sort is a good phrase to explain him,” Van Dyke mentioned.

  Courtesy Joe Cipriano Mark Elliott     

Elliott was the voice of Disney trailers and promos for many years and was first employed to supply the voice-over for Disney’s theatrical rerelease of Cinderella (1950). He additionally lent his voice to trailers for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lion King, Hercules, Aladdin, Sleeping Magnificence, and plenty of different motion pictures from the corporate.

Born John Harrison Frick Jr. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sept. 24, 1939, Elliott began his profession as a radio DJ in his hometown. In 1970, he landed in Los Angeles and labored on the KHJ and KISS stations. He instructed VO Buzz Weekly in 2015 that his stage title got here from seeing the names Petula Clark/Mama Cass (Elliot) on a jukebox, which he later mixed to type “Mark Elliott.” 

After 20 years in radio, Elliott veered into voice-overs, together with his first paid job doing the trailer for Smokey and the Bandit. From there, he did the radio voice-over for Star Wars and the rom-com The Goodbye Lady. He revealed to VO Buzz Weekly that the director could not determine on how the promos ought to sound. 

“[The voice-over studio] got here to me and mentioned, ‘We acquired this director who’s making us nuts, simply driving us loopy,'” he recalled. “‘He cannot determine how he needs to advertise [his movie], in case you’ll work with us on spec when he makes his thoughts up on what he needs, we’ll see that you simply get an enormous piece of the motion.'”

Elliott continued: “I mentioned okay, so we began working actually seven days per week making an attempt to do it, and he could not determine whether or not he needed a comedy, whether or not he needed an journey, whether or not he needed it darkish, whether or not he needed it mild, whether or not he needed romance. He simply could not determine.”

Later, Elliott additionally did the voice-over on trailers for quite a few Muppets motion pictures, however his proudest movie work was the trailer for the 1981 movie Chariots of Hearth, which went on to win 4 Academy Awards. His best small-screen achievement was for the promos for the ultimate episode of M*A*S*H.

Chariots of Hearth, it was completely out of character for me,” Elliott said. “And the promo that I did that I’m most pleased with was for the final episode of M*A*S*H, which was a heart-tugging however nonetheless comedic form of learn.”

Other than his voice-over work, Elliott starred with 4 different voice artists within the 1997 quick movie 5 Males and a Limo. He additionally performed himself in Lake Bell’s 2013 comedy In a World…, about voice-over artists. The movie additionally featured fellow VO artists Marc Graue, Don Lafontaine, and Joe Cipriano as themselves.

On Monday, Cipriano introduced Elliott’s passing by way of Twitter and in a lengthy Facebook post, reminiscing about what he discovered from the voice legend.

“With Mark, I discovered how our shared radio background was the proper expertise for promos,” Cipriano mentioned. “We talked in between his promo periods and he instructed me two issues about promos — by no means take a trip and by no means purchase a house based mostly on voice-over revenue.” 

He concluded the submit, writing: “Mark was a real gentleMAN — Attending to share all of our scenes in Lake Bell’s ‘In a World’ was icing on the cake. I am so unhappy about Mark’s passing.”

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