Lee Marshall, a professional wrestling announcer who was best known for voicing the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes mascot, Tony the Tiger, has passed away. He died of esophageal cancer on April 26, 2014.
Lee Marshall will be forever remembered as the man behind the growling voice of Tony the Tiger, but he also had a long career as a radio newsman, rock ‘n’ roll DJ, sports broadcaster and pro wrestling announcer and interviewer. Lee died at 64 years old.
Lee Marshall Dead — Voice Of Tony The Tiger Dies At 64
Lee Marshall passed away at a Santa Monica, Calif. hospital on April 26 after battling esophageal cancer, his son Jason Marshall VanBorssum told the Los Angeles Times.
Lee first voiced Tony the Tiger in 1999 and eventually took over for the original Tony, Thurl Ravenscroft, after he passed away in 2005 at age 91. But Lee’s low, deep voice was so perfect for Tony’s signature catchphrase — “They’re g-r-r-r-e-a-t!” — that strangers often recognized him by his voice and ask him to “do” Tony, the LA Times reports.
“He wouldn’t do it with children around,” says his friend and former co-worker “Shotgun” Tom Kelly. “He was very protective of Tony’s image.”
“What a set of pipes,” Tom adds. “Sitting next to him, even a whisper became a roar.”
Lee was also the voice behind several other cartoon characters, including villains on shows like Scooby-Doo. Lee was such a good-natured guy that he once told his agent that he longed to “be the guy who saves Scooby-Doo.” Instead, he was told: “You’ll always be the guy who tries to kill Scooby-Doo.”
Although Lee was most well known for voicing Tony the Tiger, he also enjoyed working as a professional wrestling announcer for the American Wrestling Association, World Championship Wrestling and Women of Wrestling.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lee’s loved ones during this difficult time.
— Tierney McAfee