A true American classic. Tony Jay has left behind a body of work from both great villainous dramatic performances to a fine library of animated work. His work I have enjoyed includes characters from "Beauty and the Beast" (film and TV) and "Miss Spider."
Tony Jay, unfortunately, passed away in August 2006, but he has left behind a series of performances that will be enjoyed by audiences for ages to come. The quality of his voice assured him various villainous roles, both on-screen and in animation, but he was a multi-talented performer who could embrace a variety of roles.
I first became aware of Jay through "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends" (and the film from which it was launched, "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids," based upon the events of the book by the same name) in his role as the seemingly-villainous Spiderus. In the film, Spiderus is first portrayed as a villain, who will seemingly stop at nothing to steal Miss Spider from her new husband, Holley. "What does she see in him?" he wonders. Miss Spider, however, shows him that even he can find love, showing him that he knows its true when he feels "butterflies" for a charming spidress named Spindella. I was really impressed with the development of this character throughout the series. He learned compassion, he learned to relax and be friends with others, and, perhaps most interestingly of all, he became a father to three young spiderlings. Along the way was Jay, in a role truly suited to his talents. He even got to sing! I don't know yet who, if anyone, will take over the role. The Spiderus character was not featured in the most recent of the show's specials, "The Prince, the Princess and the Bee," though I know not if this was because Jay was unavailable due to his health, or he simply wasn't scripted into it.
The other main role I know Jay from is his work on the TV series "Beauty and the Beast," which I have recently had the pleasure of enjoying on DVD. He played a truly villainous character, Paracelsus, who comes into direct conflict with the show's two main characters, Vincent (the "Beast") and Catherine. Not only that, but Jay was also one of the voices in the Disney film version of "Beauty and the Beast," which I adore. In fact, I'm not certain, but I think he may be the only actor to have that distinction (to have been on both the TV series and the Disney film.)
Jay also voiced characters on several other series that I enjoy, or did enjoy, including "Reboot" and "Darkwing Duck." He even did the "Star Trek" thing, appearing in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." I admire his industry, talent, and innovation.
Replacement? Nobody can truly replace him, though I think Alan Rickman (the actor who plays the seemingly-sinister Snape in the "Harry Potter" films) has a similar quality of voice and might not be a bad choice. Others have suggested Peter O'Toole, most recently the voice of the critic Anton Ego in the film "Ratatouille." Well, whoever replaces his voice in those cases where it needs replacing, let's not forget Tony Jay.
Tony Jay is one of the best actors to ever grace this earth. His deap commanding voice strikes fear and amazment to this day. His best role may have been in the film, "The Hunckback of Notre Dame" where he played Judge Clade Frollo. His voice and ability to make Frollo sound so vile and crule made the Hunchback Of Notre Dame my favorite movie and gave me the drive to read the book. He has become one of my idols because of his work an will continued to be missed and loved to this day. Tony Jay, a man who can captivate an audience with a single word.
It's really hard when your favorite celebrities pass away, I love Tony Jay and all the roles I've seen him in. I'm still ever so sad about his death, I had hoped to meet him, &/or work with him someday. He will be missed greatly not only by me, but by the rest of his fans, friends & family alike. But I know he had a great life and may he rest in peace.
I couldn't believe it when I heard he was gone. I grew up with this guy's work in shows like Mighty Max where he was simply excelent. He had such a rich voice, and he did the wise old man and the crooked old man both so perfectly. He was great in Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I even remember his appearence in Lois and Clark. He had such a recognisable and distinct voice, his death is a real blow to the profession of voice acting and to television as a whole. He will be missed alot. RIP Tony Jay.
Tony Jay is in the game Soul Reaver 2(my favorite game)he is the Elder God and he was perfect for the role.Tony has done many narrarations and many voices in cartoon supernatural shows especially dealing with haunted hotels,mansions,etc.I have heard Tony's voice many times as a kid growing up and still here his voice today as the Criss Angel Mindfreak narrarator of coming up commercials.Tony is a man who has a deep voice but does not look like he could throw out such a booming voice he sounds like he might be bigger,but hes average looking.Tony will defenitely create suspense in a show,game or whatever hes doing.
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