Chuck Riley (voice actor)

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Chuck Riley
Chuck Riley.gif
Chuck Riley, ca. 1960
Born (1940-07-21)July 21, 1940
Kaplan, Louisiana, USA
Died May 10, 2007(2007-05-10) (aged 66)
Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Occupation voice actor
Spouse(s) Kay Wright (1968–1982)
Cher Smart (1995–2007)

Charles Daniel Hanks Jr., better known as Chuck Riley, (July 21, 1940 – May 10, 2007) was an American voice-over artist, famous for recording hundreds of movie trailers, television commercials, network promotions, and children's audiobooks. In his earlier years as a radio DJ he was known as Chuck Dann and Charlie Tuna.

Life and career[edit]

Charles D. Hanks Jr. was born July 21, 1940, in Kaplan, Louisiana.[1] The first child born to Charles and Irene Hanks, he was nicknamed Danny.[1] In 1952, the family moved to Duncan, Oklahoma where he graduated from high school in 1958.[1] He was soon working at radio station KOMA in Oklahoma City, where he was first known as Chuck Dann, then later as Charlie Tuna. (It was at KOMA that Chuck Riley gave a young Art Ferguson his air name -- Charlie Tuna.)

In 1964 he was on the air as Chuck Dann on CKY in Winnipeg. From there he went to WKYC in Cleveland in 1967, again as Chuck Dann.

By 1972, he had married, had a son and was the dominant afternoon drive jock at WIBC in Indianapolis as Chuck Riley, the name he would use from then on. Riley was also known throughout Indianapolis as the voice of rock radio station Stereo 93 WNAP, having recorded the "The Wrath Of The Buzzard" top-of-hour ID.[2]

During his years at WIBC, Riley would often travel to Toronto, Ontario to narrate various radio documentaries for CHUM 1050. He was first hired to be the imaging voice for the top rated CHUM AM, then in 1969, he narrated a 28 radio special titled "CHUM's History Of Rock". In 1970, he was back in Toronto narrating The Story Of The Beatles, a 12-hour history of the group that was also syndicated around the world. Then in 1976 came his biggest CHUM project, The Evolution Of Rock, a 64-hour special that took the listener from the beginning of rock and roll right up to 1976. The Evolution Of Rock won a prestigious Billboard Magazine Award for International Syndicated Special of the Year. The program was later syndicated around the world by TM Productions in Dallas.[citation needed]

In 1979, Riley began a Hollywood voiceover career, moving his family to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Within a year, he was one of the dominant voices in the industry.[citation needed]

In the 1980s and 90s he did voice work for KMPC, KBIG Los Angeles, KZLA-KPOL Los Angeles, CKY Winnipeg, KQWB Fargo, N.D., WOGL Oldies 98.1 Philadelphia, WIBG Philadelphia, KVIL Dallas/Ft. Worth, WQHT Hot 97 (Hot 103) New York, and KPWR Power 106/Los Angeles, among others.[3]

In the early 1980s he became the voice of CBS television and Emmis Broadcasting.[4] He went on to perform voice work for thousands of movies for the studios of Warner Bros., Universal, Fox and Paramount.[5] In 1989, producer Doug Thompson, who'd worked with Chuck at CHUM Toronto moved to Los Angeles and hired Chuck to be the announcer on actor John Candy's weekly two-hour radio series, "Radio Kandy" (sic). He also narrated many productions and movies, such as Oliver Stone's Nixon, and CHUM's 1976 documentary The Evolution of Rock,[6] The Killing of America, and Galaxies are Colliding. He narrated hundreds of children's audio books, mainly Disney Read-Alongs, and was an announcer for numerous commercials.

Up to his death, Riley was still recording voiceovers for KABC-TV in Los Angeles.


Chuck Riley died at age 66 of renal complications on May 10, 2007 in Sherman Oaks, California. He was survived by his five children.[7]

Selected credits[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Michael D. Hanks. "Chuck Riley". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-05-20.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ WIBC. "WIBC History". Retrieved 2008-09-07. [dead link]
  3. ^ Greg Barman. "Chuck Riley". Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  4. ^ Clayton Caughill. "Favorite Radio Stories". Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  5. ^ Rock Radio Scrapbook. "Chuck Riley". Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  6. ^ CHUM. "The Evolution of Rock". Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  7. ^ New York Times. "Chuck Riley, 66, voice-over legend died". Retrieved 2008-09-07. 

External links[edit]