Fred Newman (actor)
|Born||Frederick R. Newman
May 6, 1952
LaGrange, Georgia, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor, composer, sound effects artist|
Newman was born in LaGrange, Georgia. He is a 1974 graduate of the University of Georgia, and received an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1978. Fred Newman married Katy Dobbs in 1985, and the couple has two children: Gil John Newman (son) and Lila Claire Newman (daughter). Lila appeared on A Prairie Home Companion (APHC) as an actor and singer when the show was in Chicago at Ravinia Park. Lila began contributing sketches and writing to APHC on a weekly basis in November 2013 and since  has received several on air credits for her work. Both of Newman's children are pursuing acting careers.
Newman's first job in New York City was at Newsweek. After doing stand-up comedy, Newman soon capitalized on his unique vocalizations, and Peter Workman (Workman Publishing) signed Fred to write the bestselling book MouthSounds (first published in 1980 and updated with a DVD in 2004). Newman is an actor and sound effects artist on Garrison Keillor's live radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion. He has also done character voices and sounds effects as a voice actor in numerous film, television, and video game credits including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Doug (as Skeeter Valentine, Mr. Dink, and other characters), Grand Theft Auto 2, Harry and the Hendersons, Gremlins, Munchies, Storybook World, Wolf, and Men in Black.
Newman hosted Livewire, a kids' talk show on Nickelodeon in the early 1980s. Livewire was known for giving bands their first television appearance, including R.E.M. and Split Enz. He was also a host for the Halloween TV Special Game, Nick or Treat!
Newman worked with Jim Henson and the Muppets in the 1980s, first as a contributor to Muppet Magazine, and then as the writer of the Muppet Show On Tour live show. In 1987, Newman played the lead role in Henson's CBS sitcom pilot Puppetman. Newman also appeared in a 1988 Henson direct-to-video special called Neat Stuff to Know & to Do.
Prior to the 2000 Presidential Election, Newman was cast as the voice of Garry Trudeau's comic strip character Duke who ran for President. He provided both voice and motion capture for Duke 2000, a series of online computer animated shorts, and can still be heard in the "Ask Duke" interactive game. He also provided the voice of Trudeau's Jimmy Thudpucker for a NetAid concert.
As an on-camera performer, he was the co-host (23 episodes, 1989–1993) of The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989–1994) (with Mowava Pryor or Teri Misner) as the other co-host) that launched the careers of Britney Spears, Keri Russell, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, and Ryan Gosling among others. Newman can currently be seen on the PBS reading series Between the Lions, for which he also writes and provides animated voices, and as the conductor on PBS's Lomax, the Hound of Music. Newman won two writing Emmys for Between the Lions. As a musician, he has composed music for the animated series Doug and PB&J Otter, and wrote songs for Doug's 1st Movie.
Chrisopylae, a symphony commissioned by the Marin Symphony Orchestra to mark the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, was written by composer Rob Kapilow with Newman, who was also the sound effects designer for the Golden Gate, Opus. The world premiere was on May 6, 2012 at the Main Veterans' Memorial Auditorium in Marin County, California.
"Information is in words," says Newman, "but all the emotion is in sound."
Fred Newman has won four awards:
- Daytime Emmy Awards, 2009
- Daytime Emmy Awards, 2008
- Daytime Emmy Awards, 2004
- CableACE Awards, 1983