Top Ten Favorite Actor Voices… that I can listen to for hours

top10actorvoices

Well, on Tuesday night I saw the press screening of The Jungle Book, which is a remake of the 1967 animated film. It was such a pleasant surprise, a visually-mesmerizing film with a simple-yet-moving story. That film is certainly an eye AND ear candy, with phenomenal voice actors like Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, etc/ providing the speaking voice for all the animals.

So in honor of that film, I thought I’d um, remake my old post that still remains quite popular to this day, top 10 favorite actors with the smoothest voice. It’s funny but more often than not, actors I have a crush on usually have an addictive speaking voice, and I’d even listen to their interviews over and over just to hear their voice! It’s obviously a very subjective list, and I’m not going to include the same people I’ve already included in my original list (i.e. Gregory Peck, Alan Rickman, Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving, etc.) Also excluding the obvious ones like James Earl Jones & Morgan Freeman, because well, they’re a league of their own.

Yes I realize I could’ve renamed this list Favorite BRITISH voice actors, ahah. But hey, I didn’t pick based on nationalities, but just like looks & talent, the Brits seem to have ’em all 🙂 In any case, here they are in no particular order:

1. Idris Elba
Idris_voice

I’ve been a huge fan of Idris’ voice since Rocknrolla. The voice timbre, the accent, it’s simply mesmerizing. Even without seeing his physical presence, his voice alone has that irresistible swagger.

2. Sam Riley

SamRiley_voice2

Ok so Sam’s voice is a bit of an unconventional choice. People say he sounds like John Hurt, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But there’s something so irresistible about his raspy voice, likely due to his years of chain smoking. I’ve been saying on Tumblr that Sam’s voice is my drug of choice of late 😉 I literally would listen to a bunch of his interviews, which is just as fun to listen to as his singing voice in Control (and his former band 10,000 Things)

Whether he’s speaking in American accent as Sal Paradise (aka Jack Kerouac)…

… or British as dashing Colonel Darcy in Pride + Prejudice + Zombies

… Sam’s voice is music to my ears that I can’t get enough of.

3. Jeremy Irons

JeremyIrons_voice

I don’t know why I didn’t include this in my original list as I’ve always loved Mr. Irons’ voice! It’s so distinctive, with a timbre all his own and he’s got impeccable delivery the way Alan Rickman did. Hearing him even in his brief appearance in Batman V Superman reminded me just how much I loved his voice. Speaking of Disney voice actor, his voice work as Scar in The Lion King is just superb. I mean how does one go against James Earl Jones in the voice department, but he certainly held his own in that regard.

4. Tom Hiddleston

Hiddleston_voice

The one actor I was crushing on in the first Thor movie wasn’t the hero, it’s the villain. Hiddleston’s voice sounds so melodious even when he’s in distress. His extensive theatrical training came through in his delivery, it’s so clear, dramatic and simply mesmerizing. He totally came away with the movie on account of his voice alone IMHO. I went to see his performance as Coriolanus as part of a National Theatre Live broadcast just because I LOVE listening to him do those long monologues and indeed he delivered.

Here’s a scene with Anthony Hopkins (who’s on my original list)

Oh and of course he’s absolutely divine in reading Shakespeare…

5. Will Arnett

WillArnett_voice

Ok this is crazy but I never actually paid attention to Will’s voice as I barely watch any of his movies. But when he did Batman in the LEGO Movie I thought my goodness he’s got a gorgeous voice! It’s so deep that it’s hilarious but it certainly sounds lovely, heck better than Christian Bale’s ridiculous’ Batman voice in Nolan’s movies. I can’t wait for the standalone LEGO Batman movie!

6. Mark Strong

MarkStrong_voice

Come to think of it, Rocknrolla is chock-filled with Brits with gorgeous voices (there are three of them on this list alone). Strong is so criminally underrated as an actor, but I think fewer people know he’s also a fantastic voice actor. But really, he’s got the perfect voice pitch and lovely accent that he probably could make a successful career solely on his voice alone.

7. Mike Colter

MikeColter_voice

One of the reasons I ended up loving Jessica Jones is the casting of Mike Colter as Luke Cage. Ok so the first time we saw him I was already transfixed by him before he even opened his mouth (I mean look. at. him.) Then he did open his mouth and I was like, seriously? Not only did he look like THAT, he has to sound THAT good as well? Well let’s just say I hope they give him extensive monologues in the Luke Cage series!!

8. Iain Glen

IainGlen_voice

Another underrated British actor with an absolutely divine voice is Iain Glen. I remember first seeing him in the first Tomb Raider movie. In fact, he’s one of the best things about the movie as the charismatic villain. Fans of Game of Thrones surely are familiar with his character Jorah’s voice. I think people with a great voice is memorable even in a small role, as was Iain in Eye in the Sky, which was already filled with people with distinctive voices like Alan Rickman AND Helen Mirren. The movie is like voice porn!

9. Ben Whishaw

BenWhishaw_voice

Whether citing John Keats in Bright Star, or bringing a bear to life in Paddington, Whishaw’s use of his phenomenal voice is simply incredible. I also enjoyed his voice as Q in the Daniel Craig’s Bond movies. There’s such a pleasant lilt to his voice that will make anyone swoon.

I love this fan video of him reading Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci set to Thor‘s soundtrack. An odd choice of music but it works!

10. Tom Hardy

TomHardy_voice

Ok some people say they love Tom Hardy but they’d need subtitles in order to understand him. Ahah, I agree with that, for some reason he’s been in movies where he mumbles so much. But obviously if he speaks in his natural voice he’s got a clear accent and the loveliest voice. Check out his seductive voice in Rocknrolla, I have played this clip dozens of times just to listen to him. Speaking of voice porn, this movie is another one of those featuring a trio of great voices courtesy of Idris and Gerry Butler!


Well, what do you think of my picks? Whose actor voice(s) that you consider music to your ears?

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65 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite Actor Voices… that I can listen to for hours

  1. Great list, Ruth. I’d have to include on mine:
    Orson Welles
    Lee Marvin
    Lance Henriksen
    Kathleen Turner
    Alan Rickman
    Lauren Bacall
    James Earl Jones
    Michael Ironside
    …and of course of the voice of God: Morgan Freeman

    1. Oh if I were to include women on here, Lauren Bacall would make my list too, as well as Deborah Kerr & Ava Gardner!

      I included Alan Rickman on my original list and Freeman & Earl Jones are practically on a league of their own 🙂

  2. 1.Bill Murray 2. Orson Welles 3. John Williams (esteemed character actor of the 40’s & 50’s) 4. Christopher Walken (yeah, I know…affectation). 5. Toshiro Mifune (great economy in his elocution). 6. Robert DeNiro. 7. Morgan Freeman (that’s a gimmee). 8. Peter Coyote (if Morgan isn’t available, he gets the documentary narration gig). 9. Frank Langella 10. Alec Baldwin (his voice over narration for The Royal Tenebaums alone is worthy of inclusion).

    1. Hello there, welcome to FC! Oh Christopher Walken was great in The Jungle Book! He’s got such a distinct delivery, I just love it! Nice picks there, those actors you mention certainly have great voices!

  3. Look, Benedict Cumberbatch will always be on my list, no matter what. (Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba are also on that list for the same reasons.) Ben Whishaw is an honorable mention.

    And for some reason as of late, I’ve been taking a shine to Scottish accents. So the likes of David Tennant and Ewan McGregor make that list easily. Iain Glen (who hails from Edinburgh, just FYI) is another honorable mention.

    1. Ahah I knew you’d have Benedict 😉 I’ve always liked Scottish accent, I mean I was in love w/ Gerry Butler for like 6 years! Ewan does have a nice voice, plus he’s got such a great personality off screen!

  4. See, there’s a difference between the title of the post and the idea of smooth-voiced actors. Evidently I prefer them gravel-throated, because the top of my list of actors I could listen to all day is John Hurt. I’m not sure what that says about me. You can make your own assessment.

    1. Yaaaasss!!! That’s why I changed the title of this post to Fave Actor Voices, as they don’t have to be *smooth* to be addictive. I’m thrilled to hear you say you love John Hurt’s voice as I’m currently obsessing over Sam Riley’s voice who sounds like a younger version of him! I looooove his gravel-throated, raspy voice of his, VERY addictive!

  5. Fantastic post, Ruth! My granddaughter has been over and we have literally watched The Jungle Book (1967) 100 times. (feels like it) Do you think the new film which looks like fun is appropriate for a four year old?
    The voices you chose were a pleasing mix of new and old. I think of Alan Rickman.

    1. Hi Cindy! The Jungle Book film is rated PG so might be a bit too dark/scary for a 4-year-old. There ares scenes of peril towards the end that can be terrifying for young ones. I’d say this is more appropriate for may 8+ kids?

      Oh Alan Rickman is already on my original list, he’s at the top of my all time faves!

        1. I think maybe 6 yrs & older might be ok, I guess I don’t know as I don’t have kids, but I feel that this film is definitely darker. It is absolutely marvelous though Cindy, I was quite blown away!

  6. With exception of Sam Riley, I definitely agree with all the actors from the list there. I have yet to see any of Riley’s work.

    I might check out The Jungle Book this weekend, mostly to see its cool 3D effects and hear it in Dolby Atmos!

    1. Hey Ted, you should check out The Dark Valley that’s on Netflix. I think I’ve told you about it before, it’s in German w/ subtitles so he spoke in German in that movie but you can hear his raspy voice. I think you’d like that film, it’s inspired by the Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western movies. It’s quite violent but you like that stuff 🙂

      I actually want to re-watch Jungle Book again in IMAX, it’s absolutely breathtaking to look at!

      1. Yeah I remember you told me about The Dark Valley and from the trailer, it definitely looks like the old westerns from the 60s and 70s. I’ll give it a watch when I get my new projector.

        I’m sure The Jungle Book will look cool on IMAX, I saw a trailer of it on that screen when I went to see Batman vs. Superman at the zoo.

        1. Oh yes, watch The Dark Valley once you get your new projector. I think the Austrian director must be inspired by David Lean as well as there are tons of gorgeous long shots.

  7. Some great picks here. Not sure if he’s on one of the other lists, but Liam Neeson has an amazing voice. Possibly even more amazing is Michael Wincott (bad guy from The Crow). Of the ladies, I would go with tue smoky-voiced Kathleen Turner of the 80s. Nowadays, she sounds like she smoked every cigarette in the known world.

    1. Oh yeah, Liam Neeson has a great voice. Heck I mean he’s the voice of Narnia’s Aslan! Michael Wincott has a GREAT voice, I agree! Ahah yeah, very true about Kathlen Turner, she’s got the swagger to go w/ that voice too.

  8. My first choice would be Orson Welles, but I could probably listen to Dana Snyder from Aqua Teen Hunger Force talk all day. His accent and pronunciation is pitch perfect for comedy and every line he narrates is hilarious.

  9. I love that Tom Hardy takes chances with voices and accents in films. I thought his Welsh accent in Locke was fantastic and I loved his weird Bane voice. Have you seen him in Peaky Blinders? He’s doing another crazy one as a cockney Jewish gangster.

  10. Jeremy Irons…. now that is a voice. I do love Will Arnett as Batman. I’m so eager to see him as Batman in the upcoming Lego Batman movie.

    Scarlett is someone whose voice I do love to hear as I’m still waiting for her to be cast in a Terrence Malick film. Her voice would be perfect for one of his films.

    1. I think Arnett’s hilarious as Batman and his deep voice somehow makes it sound comical.

      Oh yes I LOVE Scarlett’s voice, she’s great as the snake in The Jungle Book. I can see her narrating a Malick film, she’d indeed be perfect!

  11. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Wondrously marvelous lists!

    Mine would include:

    Sir Ian Richardson. Master of British snide remarks. Forerunner of Alan Rickman.
    Clancy Brown: For his ability to turn instantly ominous and frightening.
    Dame Helen Mirren: Inviting one moment. Frightening when the need arises.
    Chiwetel Ejiofor: The Operative in ‘Serenity”. A marvel of elocution!
    Joe Montegna: A voice made for David Manet and radio.
    Dennis Haysbert: Deep. Rich. Mellow. Reassuring.
    Powers Boothe and Michael Ironside. One more refined than the other… Both great!
    Tom Baker: THE ‘Doctor Who’ of the seventies and beyond. Master of modulation.
    Paul Bettany and Lawrence Fox: This generation’s up and coming Rickman and McKellan.

    1. Hello Kevin! I can’t believe I don’t know who Ian Richardson is. But I LOVE all your choices, man Chiwetel & Paul Bettany do have great voices! Love your descriptions here, esp one for Dame Mirren & Dennis Haysbert. I concur!

  12. Jeremy Irons is a great choice, so much character in his voice. I like Tom Hank’s voice acting in Toy Story movie, he’s terrific just listening to him in that. Speaking of Elba, I’m excited that he’s filming The Dark Tower, hope this adaptation hits the mark. Great choices all around.

    1. Hi Eddie! I love Hanks voice in Toy Story too, he’s perfect in the role of Woody. Oh man, I can’t wait to see Dark Tower w/ Elba and I think on the casting front it’s already a winner in my book!

  13. Great picks Ruth. I’m about to head to the cinema to see Jungle Book, have been hearing good things about it. Great picks for the voices. I would like to add Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones and Werner Herzog.

    btw, my review and interview about It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong are up 🙂

    1. Y’know I don’t think I’ve heard Werner Herzog talk as I’m not that familiar w/ his work. James Earl Jones is a given, he tops everyone else on the list!

      Love your interview, left a comment on there.

    1. Hi Allie! Hey you should absolutely do this list. Heck I’m not the first to do this list and the more the merrier 🙂 Yeah, Will’s voice as Batman is da bomb!

  14. Nice list! Totally agree on the likes of Elba and Hardy. Would add Colin Farell and, of course, Russell Crowe, who I could listen to talk ALL DAY LONG.

    1. Hey there Drew, nice to see you pop by, been a long time! OMG how could I exclude Russell Crowe!!! Yes he has a lovely, deep voice I can listen to for hours. He has a nice singing voice too, I actually bought his TOFOG album 🙂

  15. Brittani

    I agree with a lot of this list and your old one. Mine would definitely incude Morgan Freeman, Alan Rickman, Will Arnett, Denis Leary, Idris Elba, James McAvoy, Scarlett Johansson, Kelly MacDonald, Teresa Palmer, and Hugh Jackman.

    I could probably add so many more. lol

  16. Hardy. Elba. Hiddles. Glen. Love this list! These guys would definitely make mine. Michael Sheen also has an amazing voice – he is not conventionally handsome but that voice and his personality make him very sexy. And of course this one:

    1. Glad we share some faves, Margaret! Oh yes, JDM has that sexy deep voice! I remember him in PS I Love You, I think his voice is better than Gerry Butler’s. I think Michael Sheen is hot in an unconventional way, he’s got a nice voice too. Boy I’d pick him in Far From the Madding Crowd over that tiny shrimp Tom Sturridge who looks like he’s lost from his boy band!!

    1. Great pick! Btw, Sam Riley said this about his inspiration for playing Mr Darcy… “he’s a mix of Colin Firth, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, Sean Connery in Dr. No and the voice of James Mason.” 🙂

  17. Great list Ruth! After I saw Her I realised how good Scarlett Johansson is at voice-acting, but as for voices in general, I couldn’t make a list I don’t think. Oscar Isaac singing is one voice I could listen to forever, but that’s a bit different cos its musical. Hmmm interesting food for thought. Another commenter I think said Orson Welles. I’d agree with that, I loved his voice

  18. Some great picks here Ruth!

    I am a HUGE fan of Christoph Waltz and Mads Mikkelsen, I can listen to them for hours! Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Rickman, and James McAvoy, too, have great voices.

  19. Nice list! Totally agree with Hiddleston, Elba, and Irons. Chris Evans would be my #1 pick. I’ve fallen asleep to him talking in Before We Go and a couple other of his movie’ cause his voice is so smooth. 🙂

    1. I just saw Before We Go recently, but y’know, I barely even Chris’ voice, ahah. I guess I’m more into British actors and the manner of speaking/accents, etc. hence you see mostly Brits on here 🙂

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