When I was in Junior High, I had a major crush on this guy whom I went on a Summer Camp with. Look-wise he’s quite perfect, with gorgeous dark hair and deep-set eyes. But then one day my friends and I ran into him in a parking lot. He rolled his car window down, lowered his sunglasses and the second he opened his mouth to greet us, my jaw practically dropped to the floor. He’s got this high-pitched, almost squeaky voice that I nearly burst out laughing. Suffice to say, I wasn’t so smitten by him after that, ahah.
Y’see, the point I’m trying to make is, to me a man’s voice is almost as important — if not more so — than his looks. I’d find an average looking man with a rich, deep voice far more appealing than a handsome guy with a higher-pitched voice (I’m looking at you David Beckham). Of course some guys have all the luck, like my beloved Gregory Peck who’s drop dead gorgeous AND has a rich barritone voice to die for 🙂
This list is inspired by him, an actor who can act on his voice alone, hence he was in high demand for a variety of live radio programs, such as this Anna Karenina one with his Spellbound co-star Ingrid Bergman. I think an actor’s distinct voice could actually make the movies they’re in more memorable than they otherwise would’ve been. In fact, some actors’ voice are the most memorable part about them. AMC’s filmcritic.com actually made a list ranking the top 100 movie star voices of all time, nice list apart from the exclusion of my beloved Gregory of course.
So anyway, here’s a shortlist of actors whose rich, silky voice are beautiful music to my ears. Now, all of them are talented actors to begin with, but the sound of their voice and their delivery are definitely icing on the cake. Btw, I’m not going to mention the obvious ones here like James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman, whose names are almost synonymous with ‘iconic voice.’ So anyway, here they are in no particular order:
1. Hugo Weaving
“Hello Mister Anderson.” “Remember, remember the 5th of November” Now, Mr. Weaving’s a master of acting with his voice alone. I dedicated a whole post on his face-less performance in V for Vendetta, especially in the indelible introductory monologue in the dark alley. I also hearing his monologues as Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
2. Timothy Dalton
Ok, so here’s another tall, dark beauty with an equally ravishing voice. Whether he’s Bond, Mr. Rochester, or an Errol Flynn-esque baddie in The Rocketeer, his signature deep, authoritative voice and distinct delivery is always a delight to listen in. My favorite role of his is in BBC’s 1983 Jane Eyre. That powerful voice combined with the depth of his performance as Rochester is why his portrayal remains my all-time favorite.
3. Alan Rickman
Hans Gruber, Severus Snape, Col. Brandon… these are iconic characters largely because of the way Rickman played them. Snape is the most intriguing character in Harry Potter movies for me, his singular diction with that silky voice is always a highlight in any movie. Even the simplest words like ‘indeed’ or ‘obviously’ sound so beguiling coming from Mr. Rickman’s mouth.
4. Matthew Macfadyen
I first heard his wonderful voice in Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice as Mr. Darcy. I wasn’t impressed with him initially, but upon second viewing I warmed up to his performance … and that voice! In fact, his narration in that rich timbre is my favorite part of The Three Musketeer trailer. I could watch that thing over and over again just to listen to his voice!
5. Liam Neeson
Whether he’s a Jedi master, Gotham’s underground villain, a bad ass retired spy or even a Jesus figure in the form of a lion, Neeson’s Irish-tinged speech can be as commanding yet still exudes a certain warmth that’s quite soothing. His role choices may be a bit questionable of late (Battleship Liam? Really??) but his voice is always dependable.
6. Anthony Hopkins
Whether he’s threatening to eat your liver with a chianti in Silence of the Lamb or displaying utmost loyalty with mild-mannered decorum in Remains of the Day, Hopkins’ deep smooth voice always fits the character perfectly. It may not be his best work, but I love The Mask of Zorro largely because of Hopkins sensitive portrayal of Don Diego de la Vega, especially when he was teaching Antonia Banderas sword fighting as well as etiquette. His soothing voice is so indelible in that film.
7. Rufus Sewell
Talk about having the whole package… with glass-cutting cheekbones and wide, expressive eyes, I would readily reconcile myself to Rufus even if he has a less-than-ideal voice. But this gorgeous Englishman has an irresistible throaty voice to boot! Not only is his voice so sweet to the ear, it’s ever so evocative, as displayed in the 9/11: Out of the Blue poem I posted last year. The Ode to a Beautiful Nude poem clip I posted earlier was removed… so here’s the first part of the Out of the Blue four-part series:
8. Laurence Fishburne
Who could forget Morpheus’ iconic voice from The Matrix? Fishburne’s low, commanding voice has that trustworthy, regal aura about it, no wonder he’s often cast as a wise, gifted characters. He’s got a perfect voice for theater, which was where he got his start in New York. As the first black actor cast in Othello (alongside Kenneth Branagh), that voice certainly would lend itself extremely well reciting Shakespearean lines.
9. Richard Armitage
I first had the pleasure of enjoying Armitage’s magnetic performance in BBC’s North & South (see the proposal scene below). As if his dark looks weren’t swoon-worthy enough, he’s got such a deep, breathy voice to match. No wonder he’s made voice-over work his second career, lending that golden pipes of his to narrating documentaries, audiobooks, and various radio work. I LOVE The Hobbit trailer largely because Armitage gets to sing as Thorin… I sure hope he gets a ton of lines in the movie as well.
10. Patrick Stewart
One of the best things about the X-Men trilogy is the casting, particularly the two English thespians Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. No doubt McKellen’s Magneto is the juicier role but I adore Professor X as Stewart exudes such warmth and eternal wisdom in the role. The Shakespearean actor often plays authority figures, the most famous one being Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek series. Sometimes when the show was still on TV I’d often stop to just listen to him even though I’m not a Trekkie by a long shot. I wish I could find the clip of just Xavier talking but in this trailer you could hear a sampling of it.
Gerard Butler, Gabriel Byrne, Sir Ian McKellen, Russell Crowe, Ian McShane, Jeremy Irons, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hiddleston, Derek Jacobi, Sean Bean, Powers Boothe.
Well, what do you think of my picks? Do share your own favorite actors with the best voice.
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These are great list of actors with cool voices, definitely agree on all of them.
Don’t worry about Richard Armitage in The Hobbit, his character is the leader of the group so he’ll be on the screen as much as Bilbo, in fact he and Bilbo shared a pretty moving/sad scene, well from the book anyway. I’m sure Jackson will make that sequence even more heartbreaking, I said too much already. 🙂
Great list of actors there Ruth; truly remarkable actors with amazing voices. I definitely agree that their voice alone can make their performances that much more enjoyable. I am not familiar with some of the actors you have, but I agree and know the others. If I had to add some names, I would add Al Pacino, Gary Oldman, Sean Connery, and Antonio Banderas to name a few. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Raul, I saw some folks have mentioned Banderas and Connery… yeah they do have pretty distinct voices.
Well that’s great to hear, Ted! I already know his character won’t make it to the sequels 😦 so I really hope he gets tons of screen time in this first Hobbit movie.
Really? Where did you hear about his character won’t be in the second movie? In the book he’s in all the way till near the end, unless Jackson decided to make some major changes from the book, Thorin will be in the first and second movie. If they decided to cut him out early, I’m quite sure the fans of the book (including myself) will be very upset with Peter Jackson.
Well, I read an interview w/ Armitage himself who said that Thorin dies at the end of this one 😦 I hope that isn’t true as I’d love to see him in the sequel too!
well Ruth, it depends on where they cut the story. Thorin is going to die based on the book and they better stick to the book 😉
Yeah I think he meant the story of The Hobbit and yes he dies but it’s near the end of the story. It would be weird if Jackson cut the story in half around that time because there won’t be much to tell in the second movie. Like I said he’s a huge part of the story and it would be weird to kill him off so early. But I guess we’ll find out comes December.
I do love these voices…in fact, the large majority of actors I’m attracted to have nice voices. Alan Rickman must have the nicest voice of all, though! And Liam Neeson. I really like Ralph Fiennes, Michael Fassbender and Cillian Murphy’s voices though. I can’t say American actors really factor into my list, though 🙂
aha!! Cillian is also in my list. I didnt mention it in my comment because I dont need to, you know it already Ruth. Glad to see him in your list too Stevee
Hi Stevee, yeah I’ve been on Rickman’s camp ever since Die Hard but his Col. Brandon just did me in… he sounds so melancholy & romantic in that one, so different from his more villainous roles. Well I normally am into Brits/Aussies myself, that is until Greg Peck just swept me off my feet, first American actor to do so and he’s no longer with us 😦
Haha great list. I never really think about voices, but you’ve got some great choices here. Alan Rickman’s voice gives me chills, even when he’s doing something light and funny like Love Actually.
You’re so right, Rickman’s voice is memorable in pretty much any genre. I forgot to mention Galaxy Quest but I love him in that too and his voice makes it even more amusing.
great post Ruth!! I agree on almost everyone ther…but I would put Benedict in that list, if this is my list. I just love when he said: I might be on the side of the angel, but don’t think for one second I am one of them!!
he has a perfect punctuation for that line.
hehe you should see him copying Alan voice as Snape.
Jeremy Iron will also be in my list.
Well after seeing some of the Sherlock clips, I definitely think Benedict’s got a nice voice 🙂 I meant to include Cillian in the Honorable Mentions, Nov, I knew I was forgetting a few people. Well he’s in there now.
Do you have the clip of Benedict imitating Rickman’s Snape?? I’d love to see that!
I’ll show you the video when I am not using my mobile like now 😉
Awesome, looking forward to it!
here you go 🙂
in this second video….aw he can cook *melting*
Nice list Ruth. These actors have such recognizable voices indeed! Alan Rickman is always awesome to watch (and to hear). I would probably add Christopher Walken who not only sounds peculiar but also looks unique and Sean Connery also comes to mind with that suave voice of his.
Ah Christopher Walken, he certainly has a unique voice but more in a quirky way. Connery is pretty much synonymous w/ ‘suave,’ after all he’s the first and arguably the best British superspy 🙂
Hahahaha growing up in a house full of girls I was able to guess over half of these 😀 Fun list Ruth, they are very good actors too!
Ahah, glad to hear Matt, I reckon your mom/sisters have great taste 🙂
I knew Alan Rickman had to be on this list! One of my friends can’t understand what I see in him – listen to the voice I say! (Thankfully I have another friend who agrees with me, haha). I might have to go back and re-watch Pride and Prejudice. I prefer the mini-series, but now I need to listen to the voice again, haha.
Well hello Ruth 🙂 Yes I can’t possibly leave him out. You are very wise girl, yep just listen to his voice. You know it’s funny, regarding P&P, I used to prefer the miniseries too, but now I kind of like the film version more. I could feel the chemistry between Darcy & Lizzy a bit more, and there’s some subtle ways that Joe Wright shows it, i.e. when the first time Darcy helped her to her carriage and she kind of got a shock from his touch. Then the camera focused on Darcy’s hand as he walked away… here’s the scene: http://youtu.be/SOerFYfdMTY
Great list! I have to add my own personal favorite, though- Keith David.
Coraline, The Princess and the Frog, Requiem for a Dream, The Thing…
I could listen to him read the dictionary.
Oh Keith David, great pick!! He was in this show that got canceled, The Cape and I thought wow, what a voice!!
This is something I would never think of, but those are some interesting choices. Definitely some unique voices.
Thanks Nostra, glad you enjoyed the list 🙂
I really cannot comment here. But I know they are all swoony voices. And I know Fabo will be very pleased with the inclusion of RA
Great and original list matey
Scott – you read my mind 🙂 🙂
He..he.. matey you are spot on! I was hoping my fellow RA fans would stop by and see him on the list 🙂
I think about actor’s voices all the time and how important an instrument the voice is for an actor – both male and female. But I admit that I notice men’s voices more. Thank for including Richard Armitage, my favorite voice. Thank you for mentioning his voice work also- I do love listening to his audio books.
I saw Hugo Weaving not too long ago on stage and if his voice is impressive on film, it is even more so on stage.
Thank you for this great post.
Well I’m a girl so naturally I pay attention to men’s voices more 🙂 Richard’s like Gregory, he’s got the whole package! Ooooh you actually saw Mr. Weaving on stage??! So jealous! No doubt his voice sounds spectacular.
not sure I would agree on Jeremy Irons having a nice voice, he has a very creepy one… but I’d add some female voices which are legendary – Cate Blanchett’s and Catherine Zeta Jones’ 😉
Hi Dez, well I think Jeremy’s voice is distinctive but yeah, it’s not as pleasing as the others in my top ten.
As for the female voices, you’re ahead of yourself Dezzy, I’ll have my top 10 list of that later on too 😀
don’t forget to put Rachel Weisz and Gemma Arterton on the voice list too 🙂
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Hi, Ruth and company:
Excellent list of actors!
The Brits have it all over the U.S. when it comes to using their voice as a tool to create and stir emotions. Honed more in voice projection and live theater training as opposed to Method acting.
That said. On the American side of the equation. I’d suggest Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, Donald Sutherland and Don Cheadle as viable contenders.
Granted, three of my for are more Old School. The newest batch of young talent coming out of Hollywood are of the mindset that it is more important to hit their mark and not trip over furniture than it is to enunciate!
Securing my Soapbox.
Thanks Jack! I’m guessing that the theatrical experience of these British actors help them with voice control. Peck also had his start in theater which was his passion before Hollywood wooed him.
“The newest batch of young talent coming out of Hollywood are of the mindset that it is more important to hit their mark and not trip over furniture than it is to enunciate!” Mwahahaha… your comment is always brilliant and spot on, my friend. So true!!
Your anecdote at the beginning reminds me of the Adam Sandler comedy “Grown-ups”, where there’s a similar scene… ;).
You picked some wonderful actors (and voices) – I have always been fascinated by Alan Rickman (and his voice).
The “King of Bollywood”, Amitabh Bachchan also became famous for his timbre.
I do like higher voices too, but there’s got to be a border.
And the low voices are still the best.
Ahah, really? Well that makes me want to rent ‘Grown-ups’ but on second thought, nah 🙂
I’ve never heard Mr. Bachchan speak but I’d take your words for it. I don’t mind a bit higher voices, especially in comedy. Billy Crystal’s voice is more on the high side but I find it amusing not annoying, but then again I don’t think of Mr. Crystal as sexy, ahah.
Alan Rickman, Gerard Butler, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Matthew Macfadyen, Sean Bean, Kevin Spacey, Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Antonio Banderas
Honorable mention: Sean Connery, Brian Blessed, Daniel Craig
Hi Sherry! Nice list you’ve got there, well apart from McConaughey, I’m not crazy about his accent. Mark Strong definitely has a nice set of pipes for sure, glad you agree on Macfadyen!
I don’t know what it is about MM’s drawl. It’s slicker than crude oil on a hot West Texas highway. I also forgot about Ciaran Hinds!!
Ahah, well suffice to say I’m not fond of Southern accent, unless you’re talking about Southern England 🙂 Oh Ciaran has a nice voice too, interesting that a lot of actors playing Rochester have deep voices, must be one of the role requirements 🙂
This is a great list; I’d add Billy Connolly…
Hi Brenda, then you’d be happy that he’s be doing voice work in Pixar’s BRAVE 😀
Very fun post. All of your choices are dead-on, though I would add a few.
The first person that came to mind just after reading the title of your post was Sean Connery who might not be the best actor around, but who definitely made the James Bond character his own due to his suave, captivating voice. Another one that definitely comes to mind is the everlasting Peter O’ Toole, especially as an older actor in more recent films. He has that aura about him that just follows him to every role and I believe a part of it is due to his soft, warm voice that is welcoming and very hard to forget.
I would think of a follow-up post with “smooth” voiced actresses to come next.
Connery’s accent is more memorable to me than the actual voice but yeah, he sure is suave. I’m not as familiar w/ Peter O’Toole’s work but yes, he certainly has a wonderful voice.
Stay tuned for the female version of this list in the near future, I already have a few people in mind for that 🙂
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Ruth, not sure how the post on my blog, above, ended up on here. Weird.
Oh it’s an automatic pingback thing-y, courtesy of WordPress 🙂
Rickman and Patrick Stewart especially have awesome voices. I’m partial to Boris Karloff’s voice. It’s so distinctive. He was perfect to narrate the animated version of The Grinch.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard Boris Karloff’s voice, he didn’t talk in Frankenstein right, or did he??
He mostly grunted in that one. If you’ve ever seen the animated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, he narrated that one. If you jump to the three minute mark here, he speaks:
So glad to see the actor who narrated all 13 of the James Bond books, Rufus Sewell on your list, and there is no doubt he should be included! Two others I would add are James Purefoy and Bruce Campbell (currently starring in Burn Notice). Lesser known Bruce has one of the most masculine, expressive voices ever… along with Rufus I could listen to them forever… sigh 😉
I wish I could find a clip of Rufus narrating one of those Bond books! Well Rufus is one of the first I put on the list, when it comes to his voice, he’s way ahead of Gerry, but NOT Gregory 😀 In fact, nobody is ahead of him right now in pretty much anything, ahah. In fact, after seeing/listening to Gregory I feel like everything else I watch is a downgrade.
You want a clip from one of Ruf’s Bond books? All you have to do ask! I hope you didn’t forget I have all of them, that will be one of my next projects.
And yes, I must agree with you about Gregory… he has to be #2 on my list… not a distant #2, but a very, very close one 😀
Wow, only one American on that list. I’d have to add Robert Mitchum, Ben Kingsley, Jack Nicholson, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Keith, Daniel Day-Lewis, Max Von Sydow, Ralph Finnes, Peter O’Toole and yes… George Clooney.
Ruth I saw you mention Anthony Hopkins. Here’s Ben Kingsley doing a spot on impression of Anthony Hopkins while Ben does his best cockney as Don Logan from Sexy Beast:
Here’s two guys from TV’s The Wire…Clarke Peters and Wendell Pierce as “Cool” Lester “Smooth” Freamon and Bunk Moreland. I put some videos of their dulcet tones on my site http://ihaveseenthesun.wordpress.com/ due to their brilliant but colorful language.
Ruth I also thought of Idris Elba also from The Wire who has a great natural speaking voice but I think his voice is too street in The Wire and too cockney in Luther to be included.
Hi Dave, yeah mostly Brits/Aussies here but I didn’t plan it that way, just so happens that the actors whose voice I love are always from across the pond. Thanks for posting the vid, ahah that is interesting, I guess you’ve made it if another legend actually imitates you 🙂
Oh yeah Idris does have a mellifluous voice. I didn’t know he was British when he was on The Wire!
Great post, Ruth. You’ve put together a fine voice cast there, and yes, artists like James Earl Jones and/or Morgan Freeman are in the iconic category. Hmm… being older, and shading it a bit for more American representation, here would be mine:
• Lee Marvin – watched Richard Brooks’ THE PROFESSIONALS over the weekend (35mm projection, btw) and that gravelly voice is commanding
• Cary Grant – okay, he’s was a Brit but I can’t leave him off anything
• Alec Baldwin – he can reach parody these days, but he has a voice that really works well whether he plays hero or villain
• Ralph Bellamy – also in THE PROFESSIONALS, but listen to him speak in ROSEMARY’S BABY; he could be silky or downright chilling
• Humphrey Bogart – this is a no-brainer
• Anthony Hopkins – another no-brainer
• Sam Elliott – whether or not he an A-lister, that voice is top category
• Jean Reno – the French prove you don’t have to be English to make such a list
• Clint – as in Eastwood; he doesn’t get enough credit in my book for using his voice that way he does
Are you going to have a female equivalent? There are some really iconic ones if we start there, too. Thanks, Ruth.
Wow, these are awesome list, Michael! You know I can’t even remember what Cary Grant sounds like… I know that’s terrible of me. I do remember Bogart’s voice in some of the Casablanca’s clips I saw though. Oh yeah and Clint Eastwood is a good one, he also has a nice singing voice, too. People with good speaking voice don’t necessarily translate to good singer.
Yeah there’ll be a female equivalent to this for sure! 🙂
Great post Ruth! These guys could read the phone book and keep the audience captivated.
Love that Becks is mentioned as the firmly – be quiet and just be pretty category.
Richard Armitage – major swoon factor. There are a bunch of you tube clips which have him reading children’s stories for the BBC (cbeebies to be exact). Don’t ask how I know … I just do.
I would add Sidney Poitier.
This is the type of list that can go from strength to strength.
Thanks for the Richard Armitage link!
Did anyone else notice the meter of ‘I’m Not Going Out There’ to be very similar in several stanzas to Poe’s ‘The Raven’?
Narrated by James Earl Jones.
Cool how did you do the embed? I kept trying to do it with the RA clip
I just went to YouTube and searched ‘James Earl Jones; The Raven’. Then ‘Control C’ed the address. Then ‘Control V’ed in my post.
I also use Firefox. I’ve heard that Internet Explorer has trouble embedding.
The link you posted works just fine.
Hi Iba, yes precisely. As I often say, I’d be happy listening to these guys could be reading a vacuum cleaner manual for hours! Ahah, poor Becks but really his voice is just a big turn-off.
Oooh I almost include the clips of Richard reading children stories!! In fact I listened to a couple of them last night. His voice is soooo sexy it’s almost um, inappropriate for him to be reading bedtime stories 😉
@iluvcinema and Ruth – Richard Armitage and Cbeebies – Talk about guilty pleasures
Donald Sutherland. Keith David. JE Jones. Morgan.
So basically anyone from the UK or Australia, right? 😛 As the possessor of a baritone voice, let me just say thank you for your appreciation.
I think comedic voices are just as important. A big part of what constitutes good comedy is the delivery of a given line. That’s why I like the fact that Pixar doesn’t always go for a big-name celebrity when they cast voices for their films. They recognize that when it comes to character, the right voice can come from anywhere.
Well, Gregory is American but yeah, I guess I have a penchant for deep voice w/ an accent, ahah. Oh you should do a podcast then Rich 😉
You are right about Pixar. I think it’s more important to find actors who can fit the characters as some of the big name actors might not necessarily be good enough for voice over work.
I think my favorite use of Timothy Dalton’s voice was as Mr. Pricklepants in Toy Story 3.
I think he’s grossly underused though, I wish they had given Mr. Pricklepants more screentime.
It’s funny how the majority of the folks on this list are from outside the US! LOL…. And the majority of those are from the UK!
It’s a good thing you opted to keep James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman out of the equation…. they’d romp it home every time.
Great list Ruth!
Yeah clearly I have a penchant for Brits… most of them just have such nice voice, and then there’s the accent 🙂 I just think James and Morgan are on a league of their own.
Good choice of voices. Personally I’d put Richard Armitage at the top of the list as it’s so rich and distinctive. No mistaking who it is. How about Richard Burton for another? I know he’s long since departed but his voice will live on forever. It has a unique quality about it. Although he was Welsh he had elocution lessons to rid him of his accent (which most actors did way back). I think perhaps that’s why Richard Armitage has the same quality for the same reasons as it still has an underlying dialect beneath the softly spoken, perfectly enunciated words.
Hi Sue, well this list is random but yeah Richard is pretty high up there, his breathy voice is so sexy. I actually have never heard Richard Burton’s voice, I should find it on youtube.
I totally agree with 3,4 and 7, but how can you not mention Benedict Cumberbatch? Let me give you an idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdphtMWjies
He has done audiobooks reading Sherlock and Casanova (which is just….yumm). Also, Jeremy Irons and Clive Owen in some situations!
I’ve just started to listen to Benedict’s voice from the Sherlock trailer. Yeah I think his voice is wonderful. I should think he could be flirty enough to do voice over for Casanova 🙂
I’d add both Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael York, who has in my opinion the best British accent I’ve ever heard. If you watch him in Romeo & Juliet or Cabaret you can hear it.
Wow, Benedict has rabid fans 😀 Oh I think I have heard Michael York’s voice, I’d agree that he has a great British accent.
I love this list Ruth, you think of the awesomest topics doll! There’s no doubting that having a nice voice is important for an actor, I think all my faves have one actually.
For the modern voices, I’d throw in Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, & Idris Elba. Agree with Diana’s comment as well, Clive Owen and Benedict Cumberbatch. I guess I have to start watching Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes, although I don’t even know if they show it in the US. Seems like every tumblr I follow has got something about it.
For the Old Hollywood voices, I’d add George Sanders. He had a really smooth voice with a really nice accent. (I think I remember reading that Fassbender modeled his accent in Inglourious Basterds after Sanders’.)
Thank you Paula! I guess you could say this is just an excuse to mention my dear Gregory, ahah. Yeah I’ve started watching clips of Sherlock and I could see why Benedict gets a lot of mentions 🙂 I don’t think I know who George Sanders is (hides quickly behind a chair), sorry girl but what movies were he in??
You’re so funny, i love babbling about old movie stars, why would you need to hide? 🙂
All About Eve is probably the movie Sanders is known most for, also Hitchcock’s Rebecca, Picture of Dorian Gray ’45. He was also in this weird movie with Lucille Ball called Lured that I just saw on TCM over the summer.
ha! I guessed 5 of your top 10 and only 1 of your honorable mentions before reading through your post!
I knew you’d have some of those listed! 🙂
What a fun idea for a post, Ruth! and obviously very popular…73 comments!
No Sean Connery though, or Idris Elba, or Robert Redford on your personal list I noticed. That’s okay. Just others I thought you might pick
He..he.. well you know me too well, T. Yeah, with a list like this I’m bound to miss a few. That’s why I put ‘favorite’ not ‘best’ so I don’t catch flak from people 😀
The gents I like that fit this category include:
Hmm, four Brits and a New Yorker. Must mean something.
Nice picks, Anna. Can’t leave those beautiful vintage actors out, can you? 🙂 Hmmm, Four Brits and a New Yorker, that could be a great title for a movie!
Well, what do you expect if most of the movies I see have actors who are currently dead?
Y’know, just a few months ago I didn’t know what that’s like but ever since the Gregory spell, I can totally relate!
Ah, you’re learning now. Good. My evil plan is working.
Fun idea for a list! My top choice would be Alan Rickman. He is just a fascinating performer all around, and his voice only adds to his mystique.
Yes, his mystique, that’s the word I was looking for. Glad you agree about Rickman!
Great original post Ruth. Is there a female equivalent we can expect?
Yes sir, stay tuned 😀
Hehe, your opening paragraph really made me chuckle 🙂
I’d say that Alan Rickman would be my No 1 as well, especially for Snape. Oh and when Laurence Fishburne says “Morpheus” it sounds FANTASTIC.
Hi Claire, well I just thought maybe some people can relate 🙂
Yeah, I think Rickman made Snape so indelible, that is perfect casting I tell you. Same w/ Fishburne w/ Morpheus.
Why is Alan Rickman only 3rd? Oh, I know you haven’t heard him as the narrator in “The Boy In The Bubble”.
It’s his best work so far – trust me – he even topped himself.
Just in case you can’t find the trailer, go to my blog I have a post about it, and then tell me it is not worth No. 1 🙂
Hi Turber, this list is not ranked, it’s hard enough to come up w/ 10 names, I don’t think I can rank each one. I’ll check out your post, though you don’t need to convince me 🙂
I’d like to add Jamie Parker of the History Boys 🙂
It’s great you included Tom Hiddleston!
I haven’t seen History Boys, but I think I should 🙂 I LOVE Tom’s voice! Especially when he’s reading poems.
oh yeah I forgot to mention Lee Pace… and he’s going to be in The Hobbit as King Thranduil 🙂
I love your list, by the way!
Yes I’m VERY excited about that. It’s about that he gets his big break!
There are 2 that haven’t made your list and they are Dennis Haysbert (allstate vioce) and Sam Elliot (beef its whats for dinner)
Completely agree with your comments about Anthony Hopkins (including his voice and role in the Mask of Zorro). Lovely, soothing voice to listen to. As Catherine Zeta Jones says in “The Mask of Zorro”, he has a “very pleasant voice”. Thank you. Please keep posting more such.
Thanks and welcome to FC! I really like Hopkins’ voice but I think in Zorro it sounds the most soothing.
Awesome post!! I totally agree on Alan Rickman, Matthew MacFayden, Russell Crowe, Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler. 🙂
I know unfortunately he isn’t around anymore but I think he deserves being mentioned: Heath Ledger
Hi Stephanie, welcome to FC! Thanks, glad you like the list. I LOVE those voices, though I definitely need to update this list as I need to include my new crush Toby Stephens whose voice is like a drug to me 😉
I do agree Heath does have a great, deep voice too!
Very good list, Ruth.
Personally, I’d probably have Cillian Murphy higher on the list, but there’s no question all of these men have memorable voices. 🙂
If you haven’t yet, you should really watch the movie Random Harvest. Both the leads, Ronald Colman male and Greer Garson female, have beautiful voices. One friend, referring to Colman’s start in silent movies, once said to me that a silent with him was just wrong. Lol. I’m hard pressed to disagree with her. Some of the other commentors on here who are old movie fans might be familiar with the actors and the movie as well.
Hi Stefmagura, I should check that out as I actually do like Greer Garson’s voice! I like her in The Valley of Decision w/ young Gregory Peck. I’m not familiar w/ Ronald Colman though.
Gregory Peck. There’s another male actor with a wonderful, smooth voice. I remember my reaction when I saw to Kill a Mockingbird. I’ll have to check out Valley of Decision. I saw a post on it from another blogger who likes old movies, and she seemed to really enjoy it. A couple other good movies with him in it which I remember are Spellbound from 1945, and designing Woman from 1957, which starred Lauren bacall, another female with a great voice. As far as Ronald Colman is concerned, there’s another movie with him which came out the same year as Random Harvest called The Talk of the Town. In it, the main female character gets to choose between him and Cary Grant. There were two endings shot, one in which she chose Colman, and one in which she chose Grant, and all I’m going to say in the way of spoilers, is that the writers/director/whoever should’ve gone with the ending which audiences didn’t pick. I guess I’m in the minority there. Since Grant is TCM’s star of the month for December 2014, you may get to see it. TCM shows all these movies on occasion. But then again, there are video services and dvd’s, so you might be able to buy and download these movies. BTW, Cary Grant is another male actor with a wonderfully smooth voice. I guess there is something said for training actors.
I know I’m replying to my own comment which is a little bit dorky, but I forgot to mention another actor whose movies you should watch. When I wrote my last comment, I had recently watched a couple movies with the actor Robert Mitchum in them. One is a film noir movie which is a type of movie he’s known for, and the other is a romantic comedy set around Christmas time, a type of movie and setting he isn’t much known for. The first from 1947 is called Out of the Past, and the second from 1949 is called Holiday Affair. They’re both very good movies, and Mitchum’s isn’t a bad voice to hear in one’s dreams to say the least. 😉
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You have a wonderful list but must add Ewan McGregor and Aidan Turner as well as Sean Bean. As for the Americans, don’t discredit them! Listen to Jeremy Sisto, Michael Wincott, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Rooker, Vin Diesel and Canadian Christopher Heyerdahl.
Hi Trish, welcome to FC! Those three Brits you mentioned does have great voices. Y’know, I actually don’t like Vin Diesel’s voice but the two Michaels, Wincott & Rooker, do have distinctive voices!
I love all these, especially Alan Rickman and Laurence Fishburne.
Glad to hear! Those two guys have such golden voices, plus they’re great actors too.
Richard Burton and Orson Welles 🙂
OHMIGODD, WHERE’S BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!
My new favourite is Matt Damon. Just finished listening to and watching a few of his interviews on Youtube just to listen to his voice. 🙂
I don’t agree with the entire list – and I certainly think you’ve missed a trick in leaving off Jeremy Irons, but to each their own. Also, I would hardly call Richard Armitage’s voice ‘breathy’, which is the opposite of the rich, sonorous tones he has – and he uses his breath well. ‘Breathy’ implies a lack of depth and poor control, and is more apt for say, Genevieve O’Reilly.
You missed out Christopher Plummer. His voice is like scotch.
A fantastic list! I’ve chanced a new British voice..Professor Bear reading Romantic poetry on SoundCloud.The missing link between David Attenborough and James Mason.
Hi there, welcome to FC! Glad you like the list. A cross between David Attenborough and James Mason? That sounds lovely.
An intriguing idea for a list. I didn’t have time to read all the comments, but did anyone mention Orson Welles? I could listen to him reading the phone book.
Best wishes, Pete.
Hi Pete! Several people have mentioned Orson Welles, yes. He certainly has a big voice that matches his talents.
I wrote this about Welles, three years ago.
Great picks you made. I would insist on including Michael Wincott and Tim Curry. Just great voices that should never be taken for granted.