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2 February 1933|
London, England, UK
|Died||13 August 2006 (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Complications of a non-cancerous tumor in his lungs following endoscopic surgery|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills|
|Citizenship||British (until 1986)
American (from 1986)
|Education||Pinner County Grammar School|
|Occupation||Actor, voice artist, singer|
|Notable work||Voice of Megabyte in ReBoot (1994–2001)
Original voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Marta MacGeraghty (2004–2006; his death)|
|Parent(s)||Ethel Jay (mother)|
|Relatives||Robert Jay (brother)
Lynda Jay (sister-in-law)
Rylan Jay (nephew)
Natasha Jay (niece)
A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was known for his voice work in animation, film, and video games. Jay was particularly well known for his distinctive baritone voice, which often led to him being cast in villainous roles. He was best known as the voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Megabyte in ReBoot (1994–2001), Shere Khan in The Jungle Book 2 and the TV series TaleSpin, and the Elder God (plus various other roles) in the Legacy of Kain series of video games.
Jay also made many distinguished onscreen appearances, including the role of Nigel St John on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–1995). He further made guest appearances on programs including The Golden Girls, Twin Peaks, and Night Court. His most prominent onscreen role, however, is that of Professor Werner in Twins (1988), the mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger's protagonist Julius Benedict.
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Tony Jay appeared on-screen in several films and on television, including Love and Death, Night Court, The Golden Girls, Twins, and Eerie, Indiana. He also developed a career in the theatre, in plays such as The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations, and The Merchant of Venice. Jay's other non-animation roles included Paracelsus on the 1987 CBS TV series adaptation of Beauty and the Beast; Minister Campio on Star Trek: The Next Generation; and Lex Luthor's villainous aide-de-camp Nigel St. John in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
He was also well known for his role as the voice of the virus Megabyte in the computer animated television show ReBoot (1994–2001), and for his voice work as Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's 1996 animated film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and in the Walt Disney World version of the nighttime light and fireworks show Fantasmic!. He also previously voiced Monsieur D'Arque, the amoral asylum superintendent, in Disney's 1991 hit animated film version of Beauty and the Beast. In 1995–96, Jay had another animation voice as he voiced a vile alien warlord named Lord Dregg, the new main villain of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series in the show's last two seasons.
He is also well-known among fans of the 1996–2003 video game series Legacy of Kain for his voicing of the original Mortanius and of the Elder God, alongside several other minor characters. He was also the successor of actor George Sanders from the 1967 Disney animated film The Jungle Book in the role of Shere Khan. In 1990–91, Jay voiced the character in Disney's animated TV series TaleSpin and reprised his role of the character for fifteen years after it ended until his death. In 2003, The Jungle Book 2 was his final reprisal of the role.
Jay was a devotee of classic Broadway and made several recordings and performances of old-time Broadway lyrics, in spoken-word form. A CD of these readings, Speaking of Broadway, was released in 2005; a version recorded years earlier of the same collection was titled Poets on Broadway, as is his website. It features Jay reciting lyrics written by the likes of Noël Coward, Ira Gershwin, and Oscar Hammerstein and was composed entirely by him, according to the CD liner notes.
Jay was born in London to Jack Jay (formerly Jacobs) and Ethel Jay (née Bart). He moved to South Africa and was involved with many radio productions on the SABC Commercial Radio Service, Springbok Radio, until 1980. He later moved to the United States, and became a naturalized American citizen.
Illness and death
In April 2006, he underwent surgery in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles) to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his lungs. He never fully recovered from the operation and was in a critical condition throughout the following months.
He eventually died on August 13, 2006, at the age of 73. He was survived by his wife Marta, his son Adam, his brother Robert, his sister-in-law Lynda, his nephew Rylan, his niece Natasha, and his mother Ethel. Jay is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
- All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, Reginald
- An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, Toplofty
- Beauty and the Beast, Monsieur D'Arque
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Judge Claude Frollo
- The Jungle Book 2, Shere Khan
- Love and Death, Vladimir Maximovich
- My Stepmother Is an Alien, Council Chief
- Recess: School's Out, Dr. Rosenthal
- Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights, Lord of the Amulet
- Thumbelina, Bull
- Time Bandits, Voice of the Supreme Being
- Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Lickboot the Lawyer
- Twins, Professor Werner, also the narrator
- 2 Stupid Dogs, The Chief, Squirrel Criminal
- Aladdin, Khartoum
- Ancient Prophecies, Announcer/Introduction
- Beauty and the Beast, Paracelsus
- Beethoven, Watson
- Bruno the Kid, Jarlsberg
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Dr. Animus
- Caesar's Magical Empire attraction, Ceronomus the wizard
- Captain Planet, The Yeti
- Darkwing Duck, Death
- Eerie, Indiana, Boris Von Orloff
- Fall of Eagles, Tsar Alexander III
- The Fantastic Four, Galactus and Terrax
- Gargoyles, Anubis
- Hey Arnold!, Rex Smythe-Higgins I and a "mythical disembodied voice"
- Disney's House of Mouse, Shere Khan, Magic Mirror, and Ostrich
- Jumanji, The Master of the Game
- The Golden Girls, Hungarian sculptor Laszlo
- The Little Mermaid, The Magical Wishing Starfish
- Little Dorrit, The Doctor
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Nigel St. John
- Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, Wraith
- Mighty Max, Virgil the Lemurian
- Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, Spiderus
- Note: This was Jay's final role before his death.
- Peter Pan and the Pirates, Alf Mason
- ReBoot, Megabyte
- Rugrats, Dr. Lipschitz and other characters
- Savage Dragon, Overlord
- Secret Squirrel, The Chief
- Skeleton Warriors, Narrator
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Baron Mordo
- Star Trek: The Next Generation, Minister Campio
- Superman: The Animated Series, Sul-Van
- TaleSpin, Shere Khan
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lord Dregg. Megavolt
- The Tick, Chairface Chippendale
- Twin Peaks, Dougie Milford
- Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, Jaggo Donut
- Xyber 9, Mechestro
- September 1992: Captain Saladin, Arch Druid, Gate, and Lamp Trader in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
- August 1994: Shere Khan in The Jungle Book
- November 1996: Mortanius the Necromancer and William the Just in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
- The Elder God in the Legacy of Kain series
- Zephon in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
- March 1997: Drek'Thar in Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
- November 1997: Lieutenant in Fallout
- January 2004: General Attis and Narrator in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
- February 1998 The Sorcerer in Die by the Sword (1998 computer game)
- December 1999 The Transcendent One in Planescape: Torment
- March 2000: Shere Khan in Disney's The Jungle Book Groove Party
- June 2000: Kresselack in Icewind Dale
- November 2000: Mithras in Sacrifice
- November 2001: The Director in Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- December 2001: Xantam the Beholder in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
- July 2002: King Terenas Menethil II in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- March 2003: Chancellor Florian Gustov Niemann in Freelancer
- November 2003: Narrator in The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring
- December 2003: King Forge in Armed and Dangerous (video game)
- January 2004: Leader of the Rangers in Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter
- February 2004: Peles in Champions of Norrath
- September 2004: Magneto in X-Men Legends
- October 2004: The Narrator in The Bard's Tale (2004)
Notable projects for which Tony Jay provided narration include:
- Albert Fish, film
- Animaniacs, an animated Warner Bros TV Series (in the episode "Gunga Dot")
- Asterix and the Big Fight, film
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, a film
- The Bard's Tale, an action role-playing game
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and audio adaptation of the German silent horror film
- The Castle of Otranto, Blackstone audiobooks unabridged presentation of Horace Walpole's classic Gothic Romance
- Civil War Combat, a History Channel series
- Dark Age of Camelot, an MMORPG set in Arthurian times.
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, an action role-playing game
- H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer, a documentary on the notorious Herman Webster Mudgett
- Hunter: The Reckoning, a role-playing game
- Inside a Death Camp: The Sobibor Story, a 2005 TV documentary about the Sobibór Nazi death camp
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
- Skeleton Warriors, a film
- Teen Titans, a Cartoon Network animated TV series (in the episode "Transformation")
- Treasure Planet, a Disney animated film
- Twins, a film
Notable projects for which Tony Jay narrated include:
- LBC Radio (London) – Tony Jay narrated voice-overs for the station's main jingle packages between 1974 and 1980.
- SPRINGBOK RADIO (South Africa) – Tony Jay acted, wrote & produced many radio series in South Africa on the Commercial Radio Service, Springbok Radio.
- Kirby's Dream Land 2 commercial.
|Annie Awards||Best Voice Acting in a Feature Film||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Nominated|
|Best Voice Acting in Television||Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends||Nominated|
|Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program||Nominated|
- Behind The Voice Actors. "Tony Jay". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- "Tony Jay—Obituary". The Associated Press. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Jay, Natasha, 2017 (niece of Tony Jay).
- "Daytime Emmy nominated Tony JayLoses Fight to Recover". Archived from the original on 7 September 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Nelson, Valerie J. (20 August 2006). "Obituaries: Tony Jay, 73; Veteran Voice Actor in Film and Video Games". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 April 2016.