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Who has the best voice...?


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I thought Lina being based on Clara made sense, since I know that some of the other characters were based on real people in Hollywood.  I love Lina in Singin' in the Rain, her voice is hilariously awful.  Which is even better considering that Jean Hagen actually had a very nice speaking voice and singing voice as evidenced in the scene where Debbie Reynolds is lip syncing to Jean Hagen's singing voice.  Then Hagen ends up lip syncing to herself!

 

Judy Holliday's voice is similar to Lina's.  Except maybe not quite as shrill.  Apparently Holliday was originally wanted for Singin' in the Rain, but she suggested Hagen who had been her understudy for Born Yesterday on Broadway.  I first saw Holliday in Born Yesterday, and thought that her voice was one she was using specifically for that character, but it couldn't be her real voice I thought.  Then I saw It Should Happen to You, and she used the same voice and I decided that that must be her actual voice.  I'll admit that I found her voice a little annoying at first, but Judy has so much charm that she (and her voice) grows on you and I found that I liked her overall. 

 

Yeah, and ya have to wonder if maybe Shelley Winters might have ALSO ever been seriously considered for that part in "Born Yesterday" TOO, doncha?! ;)

 

(...and a lady who's name I'll now place a few bets on that no one here mentions in this thread!) LOL

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Yeah, and ya have to wonder if maybe Shelley Winters might have ALSO ever been seriously considered for that part in "Born Yesterday" TOO, doncha?! ;)

 

(...and a lady who's name I'll now place a few bets on that no one here mentions in this thread!) LOL

The voice of Judy's you are referring to is NOT her real voice, though she used it for some of her characters. Here is Judy's real singing voice, from the film version of Bells Are Ringing, one of the great Broadway musicals. Judy won the Best Actress Tony for creating the role on Broadway. (Another actress in the show/film also had a voice that people sometimes mistook for her real voice: Jean Stapleton, who used her "character" voice in Damn Yankees and later as Edith Bunker in All in the Family.)

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRDop4DsITw

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Yeah, and ya have to wonder if maybe Shelley Winters might have ALSO ever been seriously considered for that part in "Born Yesterday" TOO, doncha?! ;)

 

(...and a lady who's name I'll now place a few bets on that no one here mentions in this thread!) LOL

Shelley Winters does have an irritating voice, I'll agree; but she does do the "screaming harpy" thing well.  Especially in Lolita and Harper.  She would have definitely made a different type of Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday.

 

I'll admit though, I liked Winters as Roseanne's Grandma Mary.  She was hilarious.

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The voice of Judy's you are referring to is NOT her real voice, though she used it for some of her roles. Here is Judy's real singing voice, from the film version of one of the great Broadway musicals. Judy won the Best Actress Tony for creating the role on Broadway. (Another actress in the show also had a voice that people sometimes mistook for her real voice: Jean Stapleton, who used her character voice in Damn Yankees and as Edith Bunker.)

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRDop4DsITw

Hmm.. Maybe I'll have to watch some more of Holliday's films in order to hear her real voice.  I've only seen a couple and both had the high pitched voice.  It's a shame that she died so young.  She was really talented.  Although, I'm not convinced that she deserved the Oscar over Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard; but that is a debate for a different thread.

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Hmm.. Maybe I'll have to watch some more of Holliday's films in order to hear her real voice.  I've only seen a couple and both had the high pitched voice.  It's a shame that she died so young.  She was really talented.  Although, I'm not convinced that she deserved the Oscar over Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard; but that is a debate for a different thread.

She did comedy as well as drama, and of course comedy sometimes calls for exaggerated voices.  But to your other point -- I love Judy in Born Yesterday, but my first choice for that year's group of remarkable Oscar-nominated ladies is far and away Eleanor Parker in Caged. (But as you say, that's for another thread, and has already been discussed endlessly!)

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The voice of Judy's you are referring to is NOT her real voice, though she used it for some of her characters. Here is Judy's real singing voice, from the film version of Bells Are Ringing, one of the great Broadway musicals. Judy won the Best Actress Tony for creating the role on Broadway. (Another actress in the show/film also had a voice that people sometimes mistook for her real voice: Jean Stapleton, who used her "character" voice in Damn Yankees and later as Edith Bunker in All in the Family.)

 

 

SO, in other words here Swithin...kind'a like Jim Nabors all those years saying stuff like, "Way-all, sorrrrr-RY Bar-NEY! I didn't know this here gun was a'loaded!", and THEN belting out "The Impossible Dream" on some variety show he'd be a guest on back in the day, RIGHT?! ;)

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SO, in other words here Swithin...kind'a like Jim Nabors all those years saying stuff like, "Way-all, sorrrrr-RY Bar-NEY! I didn't know this here gun's a'loaded!", and THEN belting out "The Impossible Dream" on some variety show he'd be guest on back in the day, RIGHT?! ;)

To tell you the truth, I don't know which of those voices was his "real" voice.  And besides, I always confused him with Dick Martin. (And of course there's a difference between voice quality, and accent.) Damian Lewis was great in "Homeland," but his "real" voice was closer to the one I heard when I saw him as Hamlet many years ago in Regents Park in London. 

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Hmm.. Maybe I'll have to watch some more of Holliday's films in order to hear her real voice.  I've only seen a couple and both had the high pitched voice.  It's a shame that she died so young.  She was really talented.  Although, I'm not convinced that she deserved the Oscar over Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard; but that is a debate for a different thread.

Very talented, very intelligent, and the first 'voice' who came to mind when I saw the question.

 

Her card game with Broderick Crawford in Born Yesterday was priceless.

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There are many misconceptions about silent film stars Clara Bow and John Gilbert that their voices led to their demise in talkies.

A great book to read on Clara would be her bio "Runnin Wild" by David Stenn.

When talkies arrived Clara was immediately rushed into her first talking picture with no formal diction lessons given. Her voice and Brooklyn accent actually fit her personna. However B.P. Schulberg

from Paramount put her in mediocre films knowing that as long as Clara starred in them they'll make money. And Clara never fought for better film roles.

Then Clara received bad publicity from the secretary that she had fired. The secretary's revelations about Clara's private personal life was scandalous news which hit all the papers. This bad publicity led to her mental breakdown. She reached a settlement with Paramount to cancel her contract.

She recovered and married Rex Bell who was instrumental in her recovery. She received film offers

from several studios but decided on Fox because she didn't want a long term contract and Fox

offered her the best deal. She made two movies for Fox. Call Her Savage was a success and she received rave reviews. Hoopla was released a year later. Although it was a good picture it didn't make any waves and Clara was tired of making films. She wanted to settle down to the quiet of Nevada

where Rex had a huge ranch away from Hollywood and raise a family. And she did.

Anyone who thinks that Clara's voice was her downfall needs to watch "Call Her Savage".

In a similar fashion those people who think John Gilbert's voice led to his demise should watch "Downstairs".

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To tell you the truth, I don't know which of those voices was his "real" voice!  And besides, I always confused him with Dick Martin! (And of course there's a difference between voice quality, and accent.)

 

Oh, I'm pretty sure his "Gomer" was very affected and a up-on. In fact, watch this YouTube of him and see for yourself...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnYzawZ3spY

 

(...and btw...yeah, come to think of it, there was a slight resemblance between him and Dick Martin...though I believe Dick's "bippy" was said to be a little larger than Jim's...sorry, I have NO idea what I meant by that...though I suppose one COULD possibly read some Freudian implications into that IF one were a'mind too, huh!) LOL

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Now, someone with a definitely non sexy sounding voice would be Don Knotts; however, he definitely used it to his advantage.  His shrill, high pitched voice was hilarious--especially as Barney Fife.  His natural voice fit perfectly with Barney's frantic persona and half of his lines were just funny because of how Knotts delivered the line-- not because the line was particularly funny.  Combine Knotts' voice with his bug eyes and you have comedic gold. 

 

I also concur that Jim Nabors' "Gomer" voice was affected.  I've seen interviews with Nabors and he definitely does not sound like Gomer.

 

Speaking of TV Stars' voices...

 

Someone mentioned Lucille Ball's voice as being "grating."  While I don't particularly find it grating, because I'm a big fan of Ball's, I could see why someone might think that.  In Ball's early Hollywood days, she had a very nice sounding voice.  Unfortunately, by the days of I Love Lucy cigarette smoking had taken its toll and her voice was noticeably deeper and hoarser than before.  Lucille Ball, in an effort to make her Lucy Ricardo character sound younger, would affect the higher pitched voice.  In some episodes, Lucy is hoarser than in others.  By the time of The Lucy Show, she either stopped using the high pitched voice, or could no longer sustain it.  From then on, her voice just progressively deepened.

 

Rosalind Russell and Barbara Stanwyck are two more stars whose voices were greatly affected by cigarette smoking.

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By the time of The Lucy Show, she either stopped using the high pitched voice, or could no longer sustain it.  From then on, her voice just progressively deepened.

 

 

By the time she did The Lucy Show, she had been through a bad divorce and had taken over a large company and her kids were hitting puberty-- so she probably smoked more than ever during that time to relieve stress.

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Rosalind Russell and Barbara Stanwyck are two more stars whose voices were greatly affected by cigarette smoking.

 

As was the lovely Suzanne Pleshette's.

 

(...especially so)

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We've been mentioning how voices change due to smoking. But for the most part, a lot of voices do not change. Actually, what I want to say is that they do not age. Does that make sense?

 

I think this is why a lot of older stars switch to voice-over work, especially women who have a tough time finding roles in Hollywood when they hit their 40s and 50s.

 

Only in this business do we hear the voices of our favorite celebrities in old age, attached to younger looking or cute animal type characters in animated films. We recognize the voice immediately, but we do not have to see the graying hair, the wrinkles, liver spots and botched plastic surgery-- or get lost in a sea of soft-focus lighting.

 

Thoughts...?

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We've been mentioning how voices change due to smoking. But for the most part, a lot of voices do not change. Actually, what I want to say is that they do not age. Does that make sense?

 

I think this is why a lot of older stars switch to voice-over work, especially women who have a tough time finding roles in Hollywood when they hit their 40s and 50s.

 

Only in this business do we hear the voices of our favorite celebrities in old age, attached to younger looking or cute animal type characters in animated films. We recognize the voice immediately, but we do not have to see the graying hair, the wrinkles, liver spots and botched plastic surgery-- or get lost in a sea of soft-focus lighting.

 

Thoughts...?

Quite true. I for one like identifying the voices, although I am not always successful. Just yesterday I recognized Paul Giamatti, whom I think is an excellent actor, in some cartoon movie whose name I don't recall since I don't watch cartoon movies anymore. 

 

I remember seeing an actor talking about their lucrative cartoon movie career, and how they adopted a voice when they went for the audition and were told: oh no, we don't want you to fake a voice, we want your voice.

 

Apparently all the rage now is the actor's brand identification in the new cartoon movies. Give me Mel Blanc any day of the week. Even the squirrelly Charles Fleischer who did Roger Rabbit. Sorry, I appreciate voice artistry.

 

A voice actor doing themselves as a cartoon character is the same as.............John Wayne 'acting'. :lol:  :D  :P

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By the time she did The Lucy Show, she had been through a bad divorce and had taken over a large company and her kids were hitting puberty-- so she probably smoked more than ever during that time to relieve stress.

Speaking of smoking - any idea why Bette Davis would come on Johnny Carson's show when she was 10 minutes from death? Or at least looked it.

 

Michael Landon and his alternative medicine optimism was sad too. 

 

Why don't they just go out gracefully? Honestly, I can't remember seeing Gregory Peck at ALL in his later years. Now that man had class.

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Quite true. I for one like identifying the voices, although I am not always successful. Just yesterday I recognized Paul Giamatti, whom I think is an excellent actor, in some cartoon movie whose name I don't recall since I don't watch cartoon movies anymore. 

 

I remember seeing an actor talking about their lucrative cartoon movie career, and how they adopted a voice when they went for the audition and were told: oh no, we don't want you to fake a voice, we want your voice.

 

Apparently all the rage now is the actor's brand identification in the new cartoon movies. Give me Mel Blanc any day of the week. Even the squirrelly Charles Fleischer who did Roger Rabbit. Sorry, I appreciate voice artistry.

 

A voice actor doing themselves as a cartoon character is the same as.............John Wayne 'acting'. 

Great post, primos. I was watching the classic sitcom Dennis the Menace on Antenna-TV not long ago. Mel Blanc has a role in one of the episodes and he uses his natural speaking voice-- it was a bit odd, because I was half expecting one of his cartoon characters to show up. 

 

But I certainly share your views about voice artistry. 

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Speaking of smoking - any idea why Bette Davis would come on Johnny Carson's show when she was 10 minutes from death? Or at least looked it.

 

Michael Landon and his alternative medicine optimism was sad too. 

 

Why don't they just go out gracefully? Honestly, I can't remember seeing Gregory Peck at ALL in his later years. Now that man had class.

Either that, or he had trouble getting bookings.

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Speaking of smoking - any idea why Bette Davis would come on Johnny Carson's show when she was 10 minutes from death? Or at least looked it.

 

Michael Landon and his alternative medicine optimism was sad too. 

 

Why don't they just go out gracefully? Honestly, I can't remember seeing Gregory Peck at ALL in his later years. Now that man had class.

 

Sorry, don't agree at all with this.

 

Even IF Bette and Michael were at "death's door", I think it takes a lot of guts for people who still might have something to say about themselves, their experiences OR generally the world at large to still "buck up" and make their presence known, and DESPITE the fact that their physical appearance might make some "aghast" by how different it is from how they're remembered to be.

 

(...and WHICH, and even though he's not "on death's door", now reminds me of a funny line Ted Danson told Dave Letterman on his show recently after Dave mentioned that Ted is probably recognized quite a lot on the street because of his many television roles and especially from Cheers..."Yeah, that's true Dave, but because people mostly remember me from Cheers and when I was 34 y/o and had this big bunch of dark hair, they'll often walk up to me now days and say,"Man! You look like S**T!") LOL

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Sorry, don't agree at all with this.

 

Even IF Bette and Michael were at "death's door", I think it takes a lot of guts for people who still might have something to say about themselves, their experiences OR generally the world at large to still "buck up" and make their presence known, and DESPITE the fact that their physical appearance might make some "aghast" by how different it is from how they're remembered to be.

 

(...and WHICH, and even though he's not "on death's door", now reminds me of a funny line Ted Danson told Dave Letterman on his show recently after Dave mentioned that Ted is probably recognized quite a lot on the street because of his many television roles and especially from Cheers..."Yeah, that's true Dave, but because people mostly remember me from Cheers and when I was 34 y/o and had this big bunch of dark hair, they're often walk up to me now days and say,"Man! You look like S**T!") LOL

I agree.  I was also thinking that Bette and Michael's appearances on these talk shows might not have been done as a form of exploitation of these ill people; Bette and Michael might have wanted to make these appearances just as a way to keep a semblance of a normal life for themselves.  They're not trying to lie to their fans by pretending to be healthy by appearing on these shows when they're obviously not; but rather, maybe for Bette and Michael's own psyches, they wanted to visit Johnny Carson. 

 

Lucille Ball's last appearance at the Oscars a month before she died is similar.  Granted, she wasn't terminally ill; but had had a stroke the year prior and I don't believe she ever fully recovered.  The great love of her life, Desi Arnaz had died a couple years prior and she never recovered from his death either.  Her last sitcom also failed.  Anyway, she wasn't as active in her last few years and Bob Hope was invited to present an award and invited Lucy to present alongside him.  She didn't want to; but did it as a favor to her friend Bob Hope. 

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Lucille Ball's last appearance at the Oscars a month before she died is similar.  Granted, she wasn't terminally ill; but had had a stroke the year prior and I don't believe she ever fully recovered.  The great love of her life, Desi Arnaz had died a couple years prior and she never recovered from his death either.  Her last sitcom also failed.  Anyway, she wasn't as active in her last few years and Bob Hope was invited to present an award and invited Lucy to present alongside him.  She didn't want to; but did it as a favor to her friend Bob Hope. 

There's a very good description of this event in Lee Tannen's book I Loved Lucy. He says that she scaled back her appearances because she couldn't have plastic surgery (something about her skin bruising too badly). So when she did this appearance at the Oscars, she spent hours using a special kind of tape to pull up her sagging face and pin it up under her wig. It sounded like a very painful process. But people were not talking about her face the next day-- they were talking about the amount of leg she exposed in the dress she was wearing!

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I agree.  I was also thinking that Bette and Michael's appearances on these talk shows might not have been done as a form of exploitation of these ill people; Bette and Michael might have wanted to make these appearances just as a way to keep a semblance of a normal life for themselves.  They're not trying to lie to their fans by pretending to be healthy by appearing on these shows when they're obviously not; but rather, maybe for Bette and Michael's own psyches, they wanted to visit Johnny Carson. 

 

Lucille Ball's last appearance at the Oscars a month before she died is similar.  Granted, she wasn't terminally ill; but had had a stroke the year prior and I don't believe she ever fully recovered.  The great love of her life, Desi Arnaz had died a couple years prior and she never recovered from his death either.  Her last sitcom also failed.  Anyway, she wasn't as active in her last few years and Bob Hope was invited to present an award and invited Lucy to present alongside him.  She didn't want to; but did it as a favor to her friend Bob Hope. 

Dargo, on 30 Nov 2014 - 2:36 PM, said:

 

Sorry, don't agree at all with this.

 

And you're allowed not to. See, Dargo, done with no passive aggressive snark. Oh darn, that was passive aggressive snark, wasn't it?

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