The voice actor Tooru Oohira, renowned for his western dub roles including Superman in the Superman TV film, has passed away from pneumonia aged 86, as reported on The Yomiuri Shimbun‘s Yomiuri Online website. The illness took him on April 12th, and is agency, 81 Produce, posted a message notifying fans of the cause of his death, saying that he had been undergoing medical treatment up until his passing.
Born in Tokyo, he debuted as a radio announcer in 1956 before taking on his famed Japanese dubbed western characters, including Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He also interpreted The Simpsons‘ Homer Simpson, and that spy movie constant, the voice on the tape in the Mission Impossible films.
He had many voice acting roles in the 2D realms too, portraying Gatchaman‘s Dr. Kouzaburou Nambu in the anime series and several films. He also brought his voice to Daimao in Hakushon Daimao, Dekapan in the second series of Osomatsu-kun and Gaimon in One Piece, among many others. And Kingdom Hearts players in Japan will have fond memories of him as Pete and the Mayor of Halloweentown, after voicing each of them in A Goofy Movie and The Nightmare Before Christmas, respectively.
In his long career, he brought characters beloved the world over into the hearts of otaku of all kinds. His passion for his work and the potential of popular media is his legacy to fans of eastern and western TV and film, old and new, and our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.