Cree Summer

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Cree Summer
Born Cree Summer Francks
(1969-07-07) July 7, 1969 (age 46)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
Voice Actress, Singer
Years active 1983–present
Parent(s) Don Francks
Lili Red Eagle
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals
Labels
Associated acts

Cree Summer Francks (born July 7, 1969), best known as Cree Summer, is an American Canadian voice actress and singer.

She is best known for her role as college student Winifred "Freddie" Brooks on the NBC sitcom A Different World. As a voice actress Summer provided the voices for Penny in Inspector Gadget during Season 1, 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.

Early life[edit]

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 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.[1] Her brother, Rainbow Sun Francks, is a former MuchMusic VJ.

Acting career[edit]

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.[2] 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 (2004), 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 (2008).

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 fired her.

Summer is a frequent co-star of Canadian-American actress Tara Strong, the two are childhood friends, both having grown up in Toronto, Ontario.[3]

Video game voice acting[edit]

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.

Music career[edit]

Summer sang 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 actress 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.[4] 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.

Filmography[edit]

Animated film roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Strawberry Shortcake and the Baby Without a Name Orange Blossom Television film
1985 The Care Bears Movie Kim Theatrical
1986 Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation Christy Theatrical
1986 Madballs: Escape from Orb Freakella Direct-to-video
1992 Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation Elmyra Duff and Mary Melody Direct-to-video
1998 The Rugrats Movie Susie Carmichael Theatrical
2000 An Extremely Goofy Movie Co-Ed (girl at Club) Direct-to-video
2000 Rugrats in Paris: The Movie Susie Carmichael Theatrical
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire Princess Kida Theatrical
2001 All Growed Up Susie Carmichael Television film
2002 The Wild Thornberrys Movie Phaedra (Elephant) Theatrical
2002 Barbie as Rapunzel Penelope Direct-to-video
2003 Atlantis: Milo's Return Princess Kida Direct-to-video
2003 Rugrats Go Wild Susie Carmichael Theatrical
2004 Clifford's Really Big Movie Cleo Theatrical
2005 The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses Bonehead and Lizzie Direct-to-video
2006 Bambi II Mena Theatrical (non-USA)
2006 Bratz: Genie Magic Zell Direct-to-video
2006 Operation: Z.E.R.O Numbuh 5 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 Medusa's Revenge Medusa Direct-to-video
2012 Strange Frame: Love & Sax Reesa Abi Kiran Ariana Livingston the Third Theatrical
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 Theatrical
2015 Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom Cheetah Direct-to-video

Animated series roles[edit]

Live-action film roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Wild Thing Lisa Theatrical
1987 Bay Coven Jazz Singer Television film
1987 Hearts of Fire Colt's Band Member Theatrical
1991 Perfect Crimes Cheryl Television film
1995 Tuesday Morning Ride Short film
2002 Kermit's Swamp Years Pilgrim, Kermit's Mom, Star (voice) Direct-to-video
2003 Blizzard Penelope (voice) Theatrical
2005 Free Lunch for Brad Whitman Kristi Short film
2007 Callback Student
2013 I Know That Voice Herself Documentary film on voice acting[7][8]

Live-action television series roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Night Heat Karen Simmons Guest
1986 Seeing Things Guest
1988–1993 A Different World Winifred "Freddie" Brooks Regular role
1994 Living Single Summer Guest
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Lisa Adams Guest
1994–1995 Sweet Justice Reese Daulkins Recurring role
1995 Courthouse Danni Recurring role

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster and the Beanstalk Elmyra Duff
1997 Fallout Tandi
1998 Fallout 2 Lynnette
1999 Tiny Toon Adventures: Toonenstein Elmyra Duff
1999 Rugrats: Studio Tour Susie Carmichael
2000 M&M's The Lost Formulas Green
2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire Kida, Atlantean Child
2001 Final Fantasy X Belgemine, Young Tidus
2001 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance Osala
2001 Atlantis The Lost Empire: Search for the Journal
2001 Tiny Toon Adventures: Defenders of the Universe Elmyra Duff Cancelled game
2002 Rugrats: Royal Ransom Susie Carmichael
2002 Run Like Hell: Hunt or Be Hunted Samantha
2003 Freelancer Dr. Kendra Sinclair
2003 Final Fantasy X-2 Lenne, Calli
2003 Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits Tatjana
2003 Rugrats Go Wild! Susie Carmichael
2003 Lords of Everquest Solruua
2004 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II
2004 Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Micay
2004 X-Men Legends Magma
2005 Fantastic Four Alicia Masters, Additional Voices
2005 Codename: Kids Next Door – Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. Numbuh 5, Delightful Children From Down the Lane, Cree Lincoln
2005 Tony Hawk's American Wasteland Mindy
2006 Black MacCarver
2006 Driver: Parallel Lines Additional Voices
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Coco
2006 The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Cynder
2006 Superman Returns The Citizens of Metropolis
2006 Bratz Forever Diamondz Mandy
2007 Mass Effect Macha Doyle, Consort Attendant
2009 Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall Numbuh Five
2009 inFamous Additional Voices
2009 Batman: Arkham Asylum Dr. Penelope Young
2009 Brütal Legend Dominatrices
2009 Marvel Super Hero Squad Storm
2009 Dragon Age: Origins Violent Elf Female
2010 Crackdown 2 Catalina Thorn
2010 Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Executor Selendis
2010 Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet She-Hulk
2011 Knights Contract Straeggele
2012 Unit 13 Command
2012 Kid Icarus: Uprising Medusa
2012 Diablo III Auriel
2012 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Scout Captain Elsia
2013 Skylanders: Swap Force Roller Brawl
2013 Young Justice: Legacy Aquagirl, Rocket
2014 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Additional Voices[9]
2014 Lichdom: Battlemage Witch, Alchemist
2014 Broken Age Morelia, Drumstick Maiden, Teledoor
2014 WildStar Kit Brinny, Chua, Exiled Female
2014 Destiny Guardian (EXO) Female[10]
2014 Skylanders: Trap Team Roller Brawl

Other[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Revelation Sunshine"

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Different World "Moon Child" Grew Up on a Reservation
  2. ^ "Off The Reservation, `Different World's` Cree Summer Is A Bundle Of Contradictions". Chicago Tribune. 1990-04-12. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  3. ^ Drawn Together "Hot Tub" DVD commentary
  4. ^ "Inside The "All Grown Up" Series". Rugratonline.com. 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  5. ^ "Birds of a Feather". Breadwinners. Season 1. Episode 20. April 26, 2015. Nickelodeon. 
  6. ^ Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Episode 4 Closing Credits
  7. ^ I Know That Voice. 2013. Closing credits. 
  8. ^ Blazenhoff, Rusty (2013-10-03). "I Know That Voice, A Documentary About the World of Voice Acting". Laughing Squid. 
  9. ^ Square Enix. "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII". Scene: Closing credits, 5 minutes in, Voice Actors, Additional Voices. 
  10. ^ Destiny - End Credits - IGN Video. IGN Video. 2014-09-11. 4:30 (Voice and Motion Performers). Retrieved 2014-12-04. 

External links[edit]