Diversity is crucial in any industry, and the voiceover industry is no exception. Voiceover work has the unique ability to reach a wide audience, and it is important for that audience to hear a variety of voices and perspectives. Although the business has made progress recently toward greater diversity and representation, there is still work to be done.
In this article, we will be focusing on the top Black voice actors in the industry. Black actors have been an important part of the voiceover world for decades, and their voices have brought to life some of the most iconic characters in entertainment. We will highlight some of the best Black voice actors in the industry and discuss their most notable roles and accomplishments.
Which Black actor is known for their voice?
One of the most well-known Black actors with a distinctive voice is James Earl Jones. With his deep, resonant voice, Jones has become a cultural icon and a legend in the voiceover industry.
Jones has lent his voice to countless memorable characters over the years, but perhaps his most famous role is that of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise. Jones’ powerful voice gives the character a sense of menace and power, and his catchphrase “I am your father” is indelible in popular culture.
In addition to his work in Star Wars, Jones has also provided his voice for other notable roles. He provided one of Disney’s most iconic voices, The Lion King’s Mufasa, as well as King Jaffe Joffer in Coming to America and the narrator in CNN’s The Story of Us. His powerful voice has earned him numerous awards and accolades, and he continues to be a respected figure in the voiceover world.
Who are some of the best Black voice actors today?
While James Earl Jones is perhaps the most well-known Black actor with a distinctive voice, there are many other talented Black voice actors in the industry. Here are just a few:
- Keith David: With his deep, commanding voice, Keith David has become a go-to choice for roles that require a powerful presence. He has provided his voice for numerous films, television shows, and video games, including Goliath in Gargoyles, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog, and the Arbiter in the Halo video game series.
- Phil LaMarr: Phil LaMarr is a versatile actor with a wide range of voices, and he has lent his voice to some of the most beloved animated characters of the past few decades. He is best known for dubbing Samurai Jack in the animated series of the same name. He’s also voiced characters for many other shows, including Futurama, Justice League, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- Cree Summer: Cree Summer is a talented voice actress with a unique and distinctive voice. She has voiced many memorable characters over the years, including Susie Carmichael in Rugrats, Penny in Inspector Gadget, and Foxxy Love in Drawn Together.
- Denzel Washington – Denzel Washington is a well-known American actor with a distinguished background who has garnered numerous Academy Award nominations and wins.
- Viola Davis – An actress who has won both Tony and Academy Awards, is renowned for her compelling performances and commitment to her craft. She’s one of the most humanising voices you’ll have the pleasure of coming across.
- Morgan Freeman – With a distinctive and authoritative voice, Morgan Freeman has become one of the most recognizable and respected actors in Hollywood. His distinct tone makes him one of the most sought-after voices for advertisements and commercials.
- Chadwick Boseman – Although he passed away tragically young, US actor Chadwick Boseman made an indelible mark on the entertainment world through his powerful performances in films such as “Black Panther” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
- Angela Bassett – Known for her grace and strength both on and off screen, Angela Bassett is a versatile actress who has tackled a wide range of roles throughout her career.
These are just a few of the many talented Black voice actors in the industry, each with their own unique voice and style. They have all contributed to making the voiceover industry a more diverse and inclusive space. Can you imagine the joy for a voice over director working with a cast filled with these astonishing talents?
Breaking Barriers: Black Voice Actors Making Strides in the Industry
In recent years, there has been a growing push for greater diversity and inclusion in the voiceover industry. This has led to more opportunities for Black voice actors and other underrepresented groups.
While it’s difficult to provide an exact number of Black voice actors in the industry, it’s clear that there are many talented individuals out there hard at work in the studio. Still, there is a lot of work to be done in order to increase voiceover diversity, according to a study by the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The study found that in 2019, only 15.9% of the lead or co-lead voice actors in animated films were people of color, and only 10.2% were Black.
Many Black voice actors are making their mark on the industry and paving the way for future generations. It’s important to continue advocating for diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the entertainment industry, including voiceover.
The voiceover industry is home to many talented Black actors and actresses with unique and captivating voices. From the iconic James Earl Jones to the versatile Keith David, Phil LaMarr, and Cree Summer, Black voice actors have made significant contributions to the world of entertainment.
We have a responsibility to push for diversity and representation in the voiceover industry. By recognizing the value of Black voice actors and other underrepresented groups, we can bring greater depth and nuance to the stories we hear.
As consumers, we can support diversity by seeking out and enjoying the work of Black voice actors and other diverse voices in the industry. We can help promote inclusivity and ensure that a wider range of perspectives are heard and celebrated, and increasing the opportunities for Black performers to get started in the voice over industry.