Ellen McLain

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Ellen McLain
McLain at the 2017 Game On Expo
Born1952 or 1953 (age 70–71)[1]
OccupationVoice actress
Years active2004–present
(m. 1986)

Ellen McLain (born 1952 or 1953) is an American voice actress. She is best known for providing the voice of GLaDOS, the primary antagonist of the Portal video game series, the Combine Overwatch AI in Half-Life 2, and the Administrator, the announcer in Team Fortress 2. Her voice roles also include the Jaeger A.I. in Pacific Rim[2] and The Witch in Left 4 Dead 2.


McLain provides voices for many characters in several video games from Valve. Among them are GLaDOS, the primary antagonist of the Portal video game series (for which she won an AIAS Interactive Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance), the announcer in Team Fortress 2; and the voice of the Combine Overwatch for the Half-Life series.[3]

McLain sang "Still Alive" and "Want You Gone", the ending credits songs to Portal and Portal 2, respectively, both of which were written by Jonathan Coulton.[4] She also sang "Cara Mia Addio" at the end of Portal 2.[5] In December 2011, McLain won the Spike Video Game Award in the category "Best Performance by a Human Female" for her voice acting as GLaDOS in Portal 2.[6]

In 2013, she lent her public support to gathering donations for the Kickstarter-funded LGBT gaming convention GaymerX.[7] She later was a special guest at the convention in August 2013. In 2014, she portrayed Fairy Godmother in the online video series [Wish It Inc.].[8] In 2015, she portrayed Lisa Clarke in the gay independent film, Winning Dad.[9] This film was also promoted on McLain's YouTube channel.

McLain has played roles in many radio dramas on the radio program Imagination Theatre.[10]

In 2021, McLain provided the voice of GLaDOS non-canonically, singing a verse in The Chalkeaters’ song "Count to Three" as a cameo.[11]

In 2022, McLain provided the voice of GLaDOS for the GEICO Insurance ad.[12]

Personal life[edit]

McLain has been married to fellow voice actor John Patrick Lowrie since 1986.[13] McLain now spends her days as a voice instructor, teaching at local community and children's theaters.[citation needed]



Year Title Role(s) Notes
2013 Pacific Rim Gipsy Danger AI[14][15]
2014 Winning Dad Lisa Clarke
2017 The Gamers: The Shadow Menace Lorraine Richards
2018 Pacific Rim: Uprising Gipsy Avenger AI[14]

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Notes
2014 IRrelevant Astronomy NOTGLaDOS[16] "Fusion vs. Fission"
2014 Wish It Inc. The Fairy Godmother 12 episodes
2016 Bee and PuppyCat TempBot / Barkeep[17] "Game"
2017 Electromagnetic Spectrum: The Musical NOTGLaDOS[18]
2021 Count to Three GLaDOS[11] The Chalkeaters

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Notes
2004 Half-Life 2 Combine Overwatch[14]
2006 Half-Life 2: Episode One
2007 Half-Life 2: Episode Two
Portal GLaDOS / Turrets / Curiosity Core / Intelligence Core (Cake Core)


AIAS Interactive Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance
Sings "Still Alive"
Uncredited as "Curiosity Core" and "Cake Core"
See also: Portal reception and Reception and analysis of GLaDOS
Team Fortress 2 The Administrator[14] Also referred to as "The Announcer" or "Helen"
2009 Left 4 Dead 2 The Witch "Wandering Witch" daytime-only soundtrack singing
2011 Portal 2 GLaDOS / Turrets / Caroline[14] Best Performance by a Human Female at the Spike Video Game Awards

Sings "Want You Gone" and "Cara Mia Addio"
Uncredited as "Caroline"

Killing Floor Anger Core As a temporary trader during the games 2011 Potato Fools Day event.
Defense Grid: The Awakening GLaDOS "You Monster" DLC
2012 Dota 2 Broodmother / Death Prophet / GLaDOS Announcer
2013 Poker Night 2 GLaDOS[14] As the game's card dealer, supporting role
2015 Lego Dimensions GLaDOS / Turrets / Cake Core Supporting role
Sings "You Wouldn't Know"
2017 Bridge Constructor Portal GLaDOS[14]
2019 The Church in the Darkness Rebecca Walker
2020 Half-Life: Alyx Combine Overwatch[14][20]
Cyberpunk 2077 Delamain[21] As one of Delamain's split personalities, which is modeled after GLaDOS
2023 Haunted House of Mirrors Grandma Anna (Mrs. Canny's Ash Ghost)[citation needed] AuddieGames


  1. ^ Gilmore, Molly (August 25, 2017). "Seattle star steps into new genre". The Olympian (Washington). p. W3.
  2. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (July 1, 2013). "How GLaDOS is GLaDOS in Pacific Rim?". Kotaku. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  3. ^ Hatfield, Dameon (October 3, 2007). "GLaDOS Speaks". IGN. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  4. ^ "Game Music Showdown: Mirror's Edge Vs. Portal". IGN. October 2, 2008. Archived from the original on December 21, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  5. ^ "Portal 2 Turret Opera". Valve. April 1, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  6. ^ Video Game Awards (December 1, 2011). "EVERY VGA WINNER FROM YEARS PAST". SPIKE. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Polansky, Lana (July 27, 2012). "Ellen McLain Summons GLaDOS to Voice Support for GaymerCon". Gameranx. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "Wish It Inc. (2014) – IMDb". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Winning Dad (2015) – IMDb". IMDb.
  10. ^ "Video Games and Audio Dramas Meet at Imagination Theater". Imagination Theatre. 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Gabe Newell Makes Cameo In Valve Comedy Song "Count To Three"". TheGamer. March 29, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  12. ^ Description: Commercial Cast: COMMERCIAL CAST: Jake Wood as the Gecko Ellen McLain as GLaDOS Andrew Anthony as AVO.
  13. ^ "Married to John Patrick Lowrie". Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Behind the Voice Actors – Ellen McLain". behindthevoiceactors.com. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Narcisse, Evan (October 1, 2012). "Guillermo Del Toro's Next Movie Has a Little GlaDOS in It". Kotaku. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  16. ^ NOTGLaDOS: Fusion vs. Fission on YouTube
  17. ^ Game on YouTube
  18. ^ NOTGLaDOS: Electromagnetic Spectrum The Musical on YouTube
  19. ^ Portal GCF archives [full citation needed]
  20. ^ Macgregor, Jody (November 2, 2019). "Alyx Vance will be voiced by a new actor in Half-Life: Alyx". PC Gamer. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  21. ^ @EllenMcLain (December 15, 2020). "To all the fans who've been playing Cyberpunk 2077 and heard a familiar AI talking, that is indeed my voice in the game!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]