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Tony Jay (1932 or 1933 - August 13, 2006) was a British actor, voice actor and singer. A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was known for his voice work in animation, film and video games. Jay was particularly well known for his distinctive baritone voice, which often led to him being cast as villainous roles. He was best known as the voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Megabyte in the ReBoot (1994 - 2001) and the Elder God (plus various other roles) in the Legacy of Kain series of video games.

Jay also made many distinguished onscreen appearances, including the role of Nigel St. John on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993 - 1995). He further made guest appearances on programs including The Golden Girls, Twin Peaks and Night Court (co-starring with Richard Moll). His prominent onscreen role, however, is that of Professor Werner in Twins (1988), the mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger's protagonist Julius Benedict.

Biography

Personal life

Tony Jay was born in London. He moved to South Africa and was involved with many radio productions on the SABC Commercial Radio Service, Springbok Radio, until 1980. In 1974, me married Marta MacGeraghty, and she had a son, Adam. He later moved to the United States, and became a naturalized citizen.

Career

Tony Jay appeared on-screen in several films and on television, including Love and Death, Night Court (co-starring with Richard Moll), The Golden Girls (co-starring with Rue McClanahan), Twins, and Eerie, Indiana. He also developed a career in the theater, in plays such as The Life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations, and The Merchant of Venice. Jay's other non-animation roles included Paracelsus on the 1987 CBS TV series adaptation of Beauty and the Beast; Minister Campio on Star Trek: The Next Geeneration; and Lex Luthor's villainous aide-de-camp Nigel St. John in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

He was also well known for his role as the voice of the virus Megabyte in the computer animated television show ReBoot (1994 - 2001), and for his voice work as Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's 1996 animated film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dane and in the Walt Disney World version of the nighttime light and fireworks show Fantasmic!. He also previously voiced Monsieur D'Arque, the amoral asylum superintendent, in Disney's 1991 hit animated film version of Beauty and the Beast. In 1995 - 1996, Jay had another animated voice as he voiced a vile alien warlord named Lord Dregg, the new main villain of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles animated TV series in the shows last two seasons.

He is also well-known among fans of the 1996 - 2003 video game series Legacy of Kain for his voicing of the original Mortanius and of the Elder God, alongside several other minor characters. He was also the successor of actor George Sanders from the 1967 Disney animated film The Jungle Book in the role of Shere Khan. In 1990 - 1991, Jay voiced the character in Disney's animated TV series TaleSpin, along with Ed Gilbert as the voice of Baloo and Jim Cummings as the voice of Don Karnage, and reprised his role of the character for fifteen years after it ended until his death. In 2003, The Jungle Book 2 was his final reprisal of the role.

Jay was devoted to classic Broadway, and made several recordings and performances of old-time Broadway lyrics, in spoken-word form. A CD of these recordings, Speaking of Broadway, was released in 2005; a version recorded years earlier of the same collection was titled Poets on Broadway, as is his website. It features Jay reciting lyrics written by the likes of Noel Coward, Ira Gershwin and Oscar Hemmerstein and was composed entirely by him, according to the CD inner notes.

Death

In April 2006, he underwent surgery in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his lungs. He never fully recovered from the operation and was in a critical condition throughout the following months. Jay eventually died on August 13, 2006 at the age of 73. He was survived by his wife Marta, his son Adam, his brother Robert, and his sister-in-law Kynda, and his mother Edith.

Roles

Credits

Actor

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