That Male Voice in Film: Your Favorite?

Actor George Sanders has a voice of butter. Have you seen the classic, All About Eve? (1950)

anne baxter, bette davis, marilyn monroe & george sanders - all about eve 1950

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, it starred Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm and included a bit part by Marilyn Monroe. George plays the stuffy, British aristocrat better than any one.

Maybe you remember his voice as the sneaky tiger Shere Khan?

That got me to thinking about other voices that transcend the actor and are iconic in their own right. Pretty amazing, yes? Here’s some of my favorite voices.

William Shatner’s delivery of pausing in the middle of his sentences made him famous. Who doesn’t like to imitate him? Shatner is the best at mocking himself.

Speaking of mocking famous male actor voices, even if you don’t like westerns, you know this voice….

Here’s the most annoying voice that makes me laugh every time I hear it. What would life be like without a little Ruby Rohd?

Well, I could do this all day, and there’s so many I’ve left out! Please tell me, who are some of your favorite memorable male voices in film?

22 thoughts on “That Male Voice in Film: Your Favorite?

Add yours

  1. Fun fact: I forget his name, but the man who voices the snake in that Jungle Book scene is also a very famous voice that you hear in a few Disney classics…most notably, Pooh bear!

      1. Yes, they really are, perfect voices. That is my favourite Disney film by far. Saw it around 7 or 8 years old I think, in a proper cinema, thank goodness) It made an indelible impression on me. The beautiful artwork, of the Indian jungle, made me want to go there all my life. (finally got the chance about 6 years ago) And as you say the characters and voice casting (and performances) are all spot on. The chief elephant colonel is so wonderfully pompous, and Ka the snake is hilarious. It is that very rare thing, a perfect fim. Nice post, great idea to hang it on. ๐Ÿ™‚ Arran.

        1. We must be similar in age. I, too, love the film and have fond memories seeing the film in the theater. I think it’s one of my first films! I love the buzzards acting like The Beatles….I am such a fan of Rudyard Kipling; It’s gratifying to see the Disney adaptation delivering! Thank you:)

  2. James Earl Jones was the one that sprang to mind instantly with me! I think Tom Hanks is starting to go that way too actually, his voice is pretty distinctive. Then there’s ones like Brando (when he’s doing his mumbly method acting) and Humphrey Bogart. A lot of the classic actors have that smooth as silk kind of voice. Great post Cindy.

    1. Thanks, Chris. Oh, definitely Humphrey. Certainly in ‘On the Waterfront’ you hear that iconic mumble. “I could have been a contender” is by far my favorite quote in films.

  3. Hi, Cindy:

    Intriguing topic!

    George Sanders tops my list for “Old School Villain” and “Puppet Master” in such great films as ‘All About Eve’ and ‘The Quiller Memorandum’. The way Mr. Sanders so eloquently describes how he is going to destroy people has always been mesmerizing!

    Allan Rickman has come close at times, but Sanders blazed and owns that trail.

    Also liked Robert Mitchum’s blunt, no frill way with words. Or complete, scary silence when he wanted to intimidate. ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’ and ‘Out of the Past’ are fine examples of the former. With ‘Cape Fear’ and ‘Night of the Hunter’ sewing up the latter.

    Flat out eloquence in any film is split between Sir Alec Guinness and oddly, Vincent Price.

    While overall confidence in any adverse situation belong to John Wayne and Russell Crowe.

    1. I like your choices, Jack. I mentally clump Mitchum and Peck together and love their deep timbre. Vincent Price’s accent is multi-layered-deep, haunting, weak, indignant all at once. Whenever I hear Russell Crowe’s voice, I want to offer him a tissue. Jeremy Irons, now there’s a handsome voice!

  4. Great post! Oh there are so many! For classics I LOVE Gregory Peck’s voice, well everything about him is awesome! For contemporary, I LOVE Alan Rickman, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and of course, Richard Armitage! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. The William Shatner clip is pretty funny. The first time I remember seeing his bizarre emoting style wasn’t in Star Trek, but in the Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Classic stuff!

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