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|Born||Cree Summer Francks
July 7, 1969
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Lili Red Eagle
Cree Summer Francks (born July 7, 1969) is an American-Canadian actress, voice actress and singer.
She is known for playing Winifred "Freddie" Brooks on the NBC sitcom A Different World. In animation, Summer was the original voice of Penny in the 1983 cartoon Inspector Gadget. She also voiced Elmyra Duff in Tiny Toon Adventures and Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, Susie Carmichael on Rugrats and All Grown Up!, Princess Kida in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Valerie Gray in Danny Phantom, Foxxy Love in Drawn Together, Numbuh 5 in Codename: Kids Next Door, Magma in X-Men Legends, Yvonne and Gordon in Mrs. Munger's Class, and Cleo the Poodle in Clifford the Big Red Dog.
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Summer was born in Los Angeles, California on July 7, 1969, and grew up on the Red Pheasant Reserve in Saskatchewan. She is the daughter of Don Francks, a Canadian actor and musician, and Lili Red Eagle, an African American from North Richmond, California, and adopted member of the Plains Cree First Nations. She and her family also traveled and lived around British Columbia during her childhood, and started public school at the age of nine in Toronto. Her brother, Rainbow Sun Francks, is a former MuchMusic VJ.
Summer's career began in 1983 when she was cast as niece Penny on the original cartoon version of Inspector Gadget. Her unique, throaty voice was instantly recognizable to viewers, as well as casting agents, who began frequently casting her in animated programs. Many of these were part of cult franchises, like The Care Bears Movie (1985) and Ewoks (1985, part of the Star Wars franchise).
In 1988, Summer was cast as the freespirited Winifred "Freddie" Brooks in The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World. She remained a regular cast member of the show from 1988 through its end in 1993.
During the run of A Different World, Summer continued working in voice acting. She was cast in the short-lived television series Sweet Justice in 1994 until its cancellation in 1995. Apart from guest appearances on other live-action television shows such as Living Single and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Summer's professional work since has been limited to voice acting.
At the start of the third season of "A Different World" in 1988, the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters episodes were expanded from their original half-hour format to an hour. The show was changed to be more youthful. Episodes had a lighter tone designed to be less serious and frightening. In these lighter episodes, Cree voiced the sweet and helpful Chilly Cooper, the neighborhood ice-cream woman and innocent love interest of Slimer.
Summer voiced over 100 animated characters between 1983 and 2006. These have spanned video games, cartoon television series, animated films and commercials. Among her most famous roles was in Inspector Gadget (Season 1) as Penny (a role she reprised in the Robot Chicken episode "Adoption's an Option"), WB's Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) as Elmyra Duff (which she reprised for Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain) and Mary Melody, Aka Pella in WB's Histeria!, Susie Carmichael in Nickelodeon's Rugrats and its spin-off All Grown Up!, Cleo the Poodle in PBS Kids' Clifford the Big Red Dog, Miranda from Nickelodeon's As Told by Ginger, Foxxy Love in Drawn Together, Dulcy the dragon in Sonic the Hedgehog, Princess 'Kida' Kidagakash for Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Valerie Gray in Nickelodeon's Danny Phantom, Numbuh 5 (Abigail Lincoln) and Cree Lincoln in Cartoon Network's Codename: Kids Next Door, Penelope in Barbie As Rapunzel, octogenerian villain Granny May on WordGirl, Tiff from Nickelodeon's My Life as a Teenage Robot, and Blackarachnia in Transformers Animated.
In the first season DVD commentary of Drawn Together, she stated that she was originally hired to do the voice of Meg Griffin on Fox's animated series Family Guy, but the producers recast the part as they felt having a black woman voice a white character would be racially insensitive.
In December 2016, Summer reprised her role as Penny from Inspector Gadget in an episode of the web-series, Nostalgia Critic.
Video game voice acting
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She performed voice over for the games Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and BLACK. She voiced Tandi in Fallout and First Citizen Lynette in Fallout 2, was the voice of Tatjana in Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits; she also voiced Auriel in Diablo 3, as well as Lady Belgemine, Young Tidus and additional voice-overs in Final Fantasy X; Lenne/Calli in Final Fantasy X-2; Storm in Marvel Super Hero Squad; Cynder in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning and Magma in X-Men Legends, and the voice of Catalina Thorn, the leader of the Cell in Crackdown 2. She also had a small role in Mass Effect. She also voices Medusa in the game Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS. She also voiced the Inca Princess Micay in Pitfall: The Lost Expedition. She also did miscellaneous voices in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. She also reprised her voice of She-Hulk in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet. She also voiced Kit Brinny in the MMO introduction video for the Massive Multiplayer Game Wildstar.
Summer has sung since an early age and joined her first band at 13. In 1985, she recorded the theme song for OWL/TV. In 1990, she sang background vocals on two tracks for fellow A Different World cast member Jasmine Guy's self-titled LP. In 1993 she released an album (as lead singer) with her band Subject to Change. Capitol Records did not officially release the album because of creative differences; the records that were produced were distributed as promotions and are considered a rarity. The band, with an aggressive political message and rock-soul fusion sound, remained popular as a co-headlining act with other performers. In 1999, Summer released her solo album Street Faërie produced by and featuring guest artist (and friend) Lenny Kravitz, with the album a moderate success. Although Summer toured as Kravitz's opening act, her label dropped her and a planned spot with Lilith Fair was canceled. The label continued to promote the album, however, sending out a four-track sampler to radio and issuing remix singles of the track "Revelation Sunshine" in Europe, with a special single specifically for Austria.
Summer recorded a song titled "Savior Self" for which she directed a music video co-starring Zoe Kravitz, daughter of actor Lisa Bonet and rocker Lenny Kravitz. The video was screened online, but the track was never made available commercially, nor was it distributed to radio.
A number of Summer's portrayed characters (animated or otherwise) are singers or sing songs within the soundtrack of a show. The character of Susie in All Grown Up! was portrayed as a singer with real talent, allowing Summer to sing in the role. Summer also sings the opening theme song for All Grown Up!. The character of Foxxy Love in Drawn Together was a singer, with songs like "La-La-La-La-Labia" and "Crashy Smashy", Numbuh 5 from Codename: Kids Next Door sang a lullaby to lull babies to sleep. Elmyra Duff as she sang in many times on Tiny Toon Adventures. She co-performed lead vocals in the song "Cool Kitty" with Tara Strong, which accompanied a cartoon called Class of 3000, directed and written for Cartoon Network by André 3000. Her character Priscilla on Sheriff Callie's Wild West sings many times, as well.
Animated film roles
|1984||Strawberry Shortcake and the Baby Without a Name||Orange Blossom||Television film|
|1985||The Care Bears Movie||Kim||Feature film|
|1986||Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation||Christy||Feature film|||
|1986||Madballs: Escape from Orb||Freakella||Direct-to-video|
|1992||Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation||Elmyra Duff, Mary Melody||Direct-to-video|||
|1998||The Rugrats Movie||Susie Carmichael||Feature film|||
|2000||An Extremely Goofy Movie||Co-Ed (girl at club)||Direct-to-video|||
|2000||Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||Susie Carmichael||Feature film|||
|2001||Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Princess Kida||Feature film|||
|2001||All Growed Up||Susie Carmichael||Television film|
|2002||The Wild Thornberrys Movie||Phaedra (Elephant)||Feature film|||
|2002||Barbie as Rapunzel||Penelope||Direct-to-video|||
|2002||Kermit's Swamp Years||Pilgrim, Kermit's Mom, Star|||
|2003||Atlantis: Milo's Return||Princess Kida||Direct-to-video|||
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild||Susie Carmichael||Feature film|||
|2004||Clifford's Really Big Movie||Cleo||Feature film|||
|2005||The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses||Bonehead, Lizzie||Direct-to-video|||
|2006||Bambi II||Mena||Feature film (non-USA)|||
|2006||Bratz: Genie Magic||Zell||Direct-to-video|||
|2006||Operation: Z.E.R.O||Numbuh 5, Cree Lincoln, Delightful Children From Down The Lane||Television film|
|2006||Bratz Forever Diamondz||Mandy||Direct-to-video|||
|2007||Hellboy: Blood and Iron||Hecate||Direct-to-video|
|2007||Superman: Doomsday||Mercy Graves||Direct-to-video|||
|2008||Turok: Son of Stone||Sepinta||Direct-to-video|||
|2010||Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!||Mrs. Fisher, Cargo Pilot, Young Girl||Direct-to-video|||
|2010||The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie||Foxxy Love, Suck My Taint Girl, Network Head's Wife||Direct-to-video|
|2011||DC Showcase: Catwoman||Lily||Direct-to-video|
|2012||Strange Frame: Love & Sax||Reesa Abi Kiran Ariana Livingston III||Feature film|
|2013||Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest||Ada||Television film|||
|2014||Stan Lee's Mighty 7: Beginnings||Veronica||Television film|||
|2015||Madea's Tough Love||Woman in Crowd||Direct-to-video|||
|2015||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||Seagull||Feature film|
|2015||Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom||Cheetah||Direct-to-video|||
Animated series roles
|1983||Inspector Gadget||Penny||Season 1, Gadget's Greatest Gadgets|
|1986–87||Star Wars: Droids & Star Wars: Ewoks||Gerin (Droids), Kneesaa a Jari Kintaka (Ewoks, Season one only)|
|1987||Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater||Catnip|
|1988||Garbage Pail Kids||Clogged Duane, Heartless Hal, Trashed Tracy, Squishy, Plain Jane|
|1988||The New Yogi Bear Show||Scruffy||Episode: "Pokey the Bear"|
|1990||Kid 'n Play||Marika, Downtown|
|1990||Peter Pan and the Pirates||Tiger Lily||3 episodes|
|1990||Camp Candy||Robin||6 episodes|
|1990–92||Tiny Toon Adventures||Elmyra Duff, Mary Melody|||
|1991–94||Captain Planet and the Planeteers||Karen||2 episodes|
|1992||The Little Mermaid||Pearl||2 episodes|
|1992||The Plucky Duck Show||Elmyra Duff|
|1994||Bonkers||Alto, Young Toon Saxophone||Episode: "Frame That Toon"|
|1994||Sonic the Hedgehog||Dulcy the Dragon|||
|1995||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Princess Ebony||Episode: "The Frog Prince"|
|1995||Freakazoid!||Jill||Episode: "Five Day Forecast/Dance of Doom/Hand Man"|
|1995||The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat||Master Cylinder, Sheba Beboporeba|
|1996||Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles||Hyena||Episode: "Broadway Goes to Hollywood"|
|1996||Project G.e.e.K.e.R.||Lady MacBeth|
|1996||Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm||Princess Kitana|
|1996–97||The Mask: The Animated Series||Jennifer Peenman, Gorgonzola, Cookie BaBoom, Davida Steelmine|
|1997||Adventures from the Book of Virtues||Bessie||Episode: "Faith"|
|1997||The Wacky World of Tex Avery||Khanie||2 episodes|
|1997||The New Batman Adventures||Ice Maiden #2||Episode: "Cold Comfort"|||
|1997||Superman: The Animated Series||Natasha Irons, Psychic Girl||2 episodes|||
|1997||Men in Black: The Series||Vonda|
|1997||The Incredible Hulk||She-Hulk||Season 2|
|1997–98||Jungle Cubs||Louie||Season 2|
|1997–98||101 Dalmatians: The Series||Princess|
|1998||Oh Yeah! Cartoons||Polly, Tilly, Cleo|
|1998||Pinky and the Brain||Bunny, Receptionist|||
|1998–2000||Pepper Ann||Tessa James, Vanessa James|
|1998–99||Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain||Elmyra Duff|
|1999||The Wild Thornberrys||Feral Girl, Panther, Rosie||2 episodes|||
|1999–2001||Batman Beyond||Maxine "Max" Gibson, Tigress, Tayko, Dottie, Marinna Loez|||
|1999–2000||Sabrina, the Animated Series||Chloe Flan|
|2000||Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||Savy SL2||Episode: "The Slayer"|
|2000–03||Clifford the Big Red Dog||Cleo|
|2000–04||As Told by Ginger||Miranda Killgallen|||
|2001||The Weekenders||Penny DeCartes, Carver's Mom|||
|2001||The Zeta Project||Skye Hoaps||Episode: "Ro's Reunion"|||
|2001||Johnny Bravo||Amy Elephant, Salvador, Puppy||Episode: "A Johnny Bravo Christmas"|||
|2001–02||Horrible Histories||Mo, additional voices|
|2002||Totally Spies!||Model||Episode: "Model Cityzens"|
|2002||Ozzy & Drix||Mayor Santorini|||
|2002–08||Codename: Kids Next Door||Numbuh Five, Cree Lincoln, DCFDTL|
|2002||Kim Possible||Additional voices|
|2002–03||The Proud Family||Peabo||3 episodes|
|2003||Spider-Man: The New Animated Series||Professor Williams, Joana||3 episodes|
|2003–07||My Life as a Teenage Robot||Tiff, Vicky, QT2, Stephanie|
|2003–08||All Grown Up!||Susie Carmichael|
|2004||ChalkZone||Sonny||Episode: "Let's Twister Again/The Legend of the Golden Worms/Beanie Boys to Men"|
|2004||Star Wars: Clone Wars||Luminara Unduli||Episode: "Chapter 14"|
|2004||Static Shock||Candide||Episode: "Wet and Wild"|||
|2004||The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy||Cave Witch||Episode: "House of Pain/Grim Prophecy, A/Mandy Bites Dog"|
|2004||Dave the Barbarian||Various voices|||
|2004-07||Danny Phantom||Valerie Gray||2nd voice|
|2004–08||Drawn Together||Foxxy Love, Evil Stepmother, Strawberry Sweetcake, Super Nanny, Ni-Pul, Xandir's Girlfriend, Captain She-Ro, Letta Lame, Foxxy Five members, Queen of Mexico, Georgina Georgiopolis, Daphne Blake|
|2004||Justice League Unlimited||Female Singer, Watchtower Computer||Episode: "Fearful Symmetry"|
|2005||Lilo & Stitch: The Series||Lana||Episode: "Retro: Experiment #210"|
|2005–08||My Gym Partner's a Monkey||Mrs. Marina Tusk, Kerry, Mrs. Catherine Loon, Latanya Hippo, Eddie Panther|
|2005||Danger Rangers||Alisha, Alisha's Mother||Episode: "Kitty's Surprise Party"|
|2005||Rugrats Pre-School Daze||Susie Carmichael||4 episodes|
|2005||Ben 10||Frightwig||2 episodes|||
|2005||Loonatics Unleashed||Little Kid||Episode: "The Comet Cometh"|
|2005||Four Eyes!||Miss Doager|
|2005–06||The Buzz on Maggie||Rayna Cartflight|
|2006||Robot Chicken||Penny, Evil Little Girl, Mother||Episode: "Adoption's an Option"|
|2006||The Replacements||Nature Activist||Episode: "Zoo or False?"|
|2007||Class of 3000||Kaylie, Tanya (singing voice)||Episode: "Prank Yankers"|
|2007||The Land Before Time||Tippy||Episode: "The Forbidden Friendship"|||
|2007||Friday: The Animated Series||Betty "Mom" Jones, Dana Jones|
|2007–11||Curious George||Ada, The Announcer, Sisley||3 episodes|
|2007||Transformers: Animated||Blackarachnia, Elita-1|
|2007–10||Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures||Sarah|
|2008||The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack||Diver, Buff Delinquent||Episode: "Several Leagues Under the Sea/Eye Sea You"|
|2008–09||The Spectacular Spider-Man||Glory Grant|||
|2009||DJ & the Fro||Doreen, Cecilia, Gigi, Skillet||Episode: "101"|
|2009–11||The Super Hero Squad Show||Storm|||
|2009||The Goode Family||Souki|
|2010||Batman: The Brave and the Bold||Vixen|
|2011||Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated||Lady Marmalade, Paige Kruller||2 episodes|
|2011||The Cleveland Show||Twin #1, Guest #1||Episode: "Sex and the Biddy"|
|2011||Good Vibes||HJ Kuntz, BJ Kuntz, Tang, Wanda|
|2011–13||Pound Puppies||Cupcake, Izzy, Sumalee, additional voices|
|2011–12||Young Justice||Madame Xanadu, Mary West, Tula/Aquagirl, Mattie Harcourt, Rocket, Highway Patrolman||3 episodes|||
|2011–12||ThunderCats||Panthera, Gusto||3 episodes|
|2011–12||Dan Vs.||Becky, Kelly||2 episodes|
|2012–13||Robot and Monster||Spitfire, Globetha|||
|2012||Superman of Tokyo||Jemmy|
|2013||Henry Hugglemonster||Denzel Dugglemonster|
|2013||The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange||Old Beef Jerky, Singers, Strawberry Reporter, Grumblala, Banana|
|2013||Thunder and Lightning||Thunder|
|2013||Beware the Batman||Bethanie Ravencroft||3 episodes|||
|2013–14||Xiaolin Chronicles||Wuya, Tigress|||
|2014||Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||Ho, Chang, Piggy||Episode: "Po Picks a Pocket"|||
|2014||Ben 10 Omniverse||Frightwig||Episode: "Something Zombozo This Way Comes"|
|2014||TripTank||Matilda||Episode: "The Director"|
|2014||Avengers Assemble||Darlene Wilson||Episode: "One Little Thing"|||
|2014||The Tom and Jerry Show||Beatie||11 episodes|
|2014||The Boondocks||Desperate Friend #2||Episode: "Early Bird Special"|
|2014–15||Breadwinners||SwaySway's Mom, Mrs. Furfle|||
|2014–15||Sheriff Callie's Wild West||Priscilla Skunk|
|2015||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Additional voices||2 episodes|||
|2015||Transformers: Rescue Bots||Maura the Magnificent||Episode: "More Than Meets the Eye"|
|2015||Golan the Insatiable||Various voices|
|2015||Fresh Beat Band of Spies||Dakota Koder||Episode: "Dance Bots"|||
|2015||Moonbeam City||Quasar Daniels, Aiaiaia||3 episodes|
|2015||Miles from Tomorrowland||Maya Kitumba, Tech Bot||Episode: "The Pluto Rescue/The Taking of the Solar Express"|
|2015||Guardians of the Galaxy||Nebula, Victoria|||
|2015||Dawn of the Croods||Ugga, Pat, Clip, Pup Howler|
|2016||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Witch Haggar|
|2016||Kulipari: An Army of Frogs||Skink Mercenary|
|2016||Nostalgia Critic||Penny, Herself||Episode: "Inpector Gadget Saves Christmas"|
|2016||The Powerpuff Girls (2016 TV series)||TBA||TBA|
Live-action film roles
|1987||Wild Thing||Lisa||Feature film|
|1987||Bay Coven||Jazz Singer||Television film|
|1987||Hearts of Fire||Colt's Band Member||Feature film|
|1991||Perfect Crimes||Cheryl||Television film|
|1995||Tuesday Morning Ride||Unknown||Short film|
|2002||Kermit's Swamp Years||Pilgrim, Kermit's Mom, Star (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2003||Blizzard||Penelope (voice)||Feature film|
|2005||Free Lunch for Brad Whitman||Kristi||Short film|
|2013||I Know That Voice||Herself||Documentary film on voice acting|||
Live-action television series roles
|1985||Night Heat||Karen Simmons||Episode: "Crossfire"|
|1986||Seeing Things||Unknown||Episode: "Optical Illusion"|
|1988–93||A Different World||Winifred "Freddie" Brooks||97 episodes|
|1994||Living Single||Summer||Episode: "Love Thy Neighbor"|
|1994||The Fresh Prince of Bel Air||Lisa Adams||Episode: "The Harder They Fall"|
|1994–95||Sweet Justice||Reese Daulkins|
- Appeared on the Juno Award-nominated album I Lost My Pet Lizard (1979)
- Appeared as Debbie in the Canadian Sesame Street album Big Bird & Oscar the Grouch: Camping in Canada (1981)
- Womb Amnesia - (1993) (with her band Subject to Change)
- Street Faërie - (1999)
- "Revelation Sunshine"
- "Honey Brown/Freeda Bandita Articles II". tripod.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- "Off The Reservation, `Different World's` Cree Summer Is A Bundle Of Contradictions". Chicago Tribune. 1990-04-12. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Drawn Together "Hot Tub" DVD commentary
- "Inside The "All Grown Up" Series". Rugratonline.com. 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- "Behind The Voice Actors – Cree Summer". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved January 31, 2016. – green check mark indicates roles that have been verified by BTVA through closing credits
- "Birds of a Feather". Breadwinners. Season 1. Episode 20. April 26, 2015. Nickelodeon.
- Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Episode 4 Closing Credits
- Vanessa Marshall (August 24, 2015). "@IAmCreeSummer Hey Nebula, GuuuRRRRLLLLL!!!! You are amazing! xoxo". Twitter. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- I Know That Voice. 2013.
- Blazenhoff, Rusty (2013-10-03). "I Know That Voice, A Documentary About the World of Voice Acting". Laughing Squid.
- Square Enix. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Scene: Closing credits, 5 minutes in, Voice Actors, Additional Voices.
- Destiny - End Credits - IGN Video. IGN Video. 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2014-12-04.