iconic character voices: image of Darth Vader and Bugs Bunny

Two of the most iconic character voices of all time!

In the world of voice acting, iconic character voices have always stood the test of time. And in many ways, these voices are really what secures the longevity of a character. So, if your product or service lends itself to character voice promotion, strongly consider it. Bugs Bunny and Darth Vader are two of the most iconic character voices in the history of voice overs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the voice actors who brought them to life. 

Who voices Bugs Bunny?

Great talents often embody their craft and Mel Blanc was no exception. Blanc was often referred to as the man of a thousand voices. Including the 3,000 voices he created for cartoon characters, Blanc is also the original Bugs Bunny voice actor. Interestingly, Blanc even credited Bugs Bunny for saving his life. After a near-fatal car crash left Mel in a coma, the attending neurosurgeon called him ‘Bugs Bunny’. When Blanc came to, his first response to the neurosurgeon was What’s up, Doc?

How’s that for the power of iconic character voices!

Recasting Bugs Bunny

iconic character voices: image of Bugs Bunny

Image: Warner Bros

At the age of 81, Blanc, unfortunately, passed away leaving his potential successor some incredibly huge shoes to fill. On the bright side, Jeff Bergman, a long-standing voice over veteran was keen to step up to the mark.

Bergman became the first actor to voice Bugs Bunny after being initially rebuffed by Warner Bros several times before. Bergman made a recording of his voices and used a switch to toggle between his voice and Mel’s. This slick move made it impossible for Edward Bleier, the Warner Bros. president to differentiate between Bergman and Blanc. And so, Bergman landed the role and the magic of Mel Blanc lived on through his exceptional vocal talents.

Bergman continued to put words in Bugs Bunny’s mouth for years. He was recently cast as Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Yogi Bear, and Fred Flintstone in Space Jam: A New Legacy. Later, Greg Burson, Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, Billy West, Jim Cummings, Maurice LaMarche, and Fred Tatasciore voiced various Looney Tune characters. Eric Bauza picked up from Bergman as the voice of Bugs Bunny.

Why is Bugs Bunny’s voice so iconic? 

In an interview, Bergman said his job was to portray Bugs Bunny as viewers remembered him as a child. So, instead of just mimicking Blanc, Bergman tried to capture the nuances, Brooklyn articulation, and the dynamic personality of Bugs. The character appeared in numerous TV commercials like Nike’s Hare Jordan and KFC’s action car campaign

Who is the Darth Vader voice actor?

James Earl Jones’s deep bass tone has made him one of the most recognized voices in the film industry. His authoritative gravelly voice brought life to the iconic Star Wars character, Darth Vader.

Iconic character voices: image of Darth Vader

Image: LucasFilm

Often praised for his resounding basso profondo, Jones is the voice behind legendary film and TV phrases. In fact, they are some of the most memorable words ever uttered in the history of voice over. Despite his iconic status today, Jones struggled with an intense stutter as a kid. He was almost mute for almost 8 years of his life. Something that helped him improve his speaking ability was a high school teacher.

The teacher pushed Jones to recite a poem the boy claimed to have written from memory. This aim was to prove that Jones plagiarized the poem. Determined to prove himself the author, Jones stood in front of his class and recited his poem from memory. A step that helped him find his inner voice and helped pave the way for his future acting career.

Initially the Star Wars production had no separate provision for a voice over so actor David Prowse was cast to play Darth Vader both physically and verbally. However, director George Lucas felt that Prowse’s West Country accent was too strong to suit the character’s image and Jones was cast to dub Vader’s dialogue. And at the age of 91, Jones was once again cast as the voice of Darth Vader in Disney plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

Why is James Earl Jones’ voice so outstanding?

James Earl Jones was not credited for the first two Star Wars films because he believed his voice was just special effects for the movie. But as the character grew in likability and identification, Jones agreed to be named the voice of Darth Vader. With Jones at the helm Vader’s voice was also used commercially as a TomTom GPS voice. However, golden globe actor Ving Rhames was later cast to voice Darth Vader in the Arby’s commercials. Similar in style to Jones, Rhames’ voice which is both deep and expressive recreated the essence of Darth Vader in the Arby’s we have the meats, commercials. 

Today, James Earl Jones’ voice is both recognized and respected by some of the most influential people of the twenty-first century. When Jones received the Medal of Arts President George H. W. Bush joked, “People say the voice of the president is the most easily recognized voice in America. Well, I’m not going to make that claim in the presence of James Earl Jones”.

Final thoughts on iconic character voices

When it comes to bona fide voice acting legends, no two stand out better than Mel Blanc and James Earl Jones. As the voices of Bugs Bunny and Darth Vader, you won’t necessarily recognize the actor walking down the street but you’ll definitely recognize their voice on a call! So, if you’ve got an awesome product or service to offer then using voice actors can really help get your message out to the masses. And when it comes to voice acting platforms, there’s no better option than Voice123. Your one-stop voice acting market. To find the best voice for your next project, simply post a project for free. Whether you’re looking for a comedic voice like Bugs Bunny or more of a villain like Darth Vader, you can hire incredible voice actors from our global list of top-notch experts.

With that in mind, we’d like to wish you everything of the very best as you pilot your way through the world of voices. And as always, may the voice be with you!


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