NPR Story
1:55 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Lee Marshall, Voice Of Tony The Tiger, Dies At 64

You may not know his name, but you almost certainly know his voice. Lee Marshall was a sports broadcaster and a rock deejay, but he became a voiceover icon when he became the voice of Tony the Tiger in 1999, in commercials for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Marshall died in late April of esophageal cancer. He was 64 years old.

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

Well now to some sad news about a person whose name you probably don't know, but whose voice you almost certainly do. Lee Marshall, he was a sports broadcaster and a rock deejay, but he became a voiceover icon when he started doing commercials for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes in 1999 as Tony the Tiger.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEVISION COMMERCIAL)

LEE MARSHALL: (As Tony the Tiger) They're great.

HOBSON: You recognize that voice, don't you, Robin?

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Yeah.

HOBSON: Yes. Well, now Lee Marshall wasn't the first to give us that catchphrase. It started with the original Tony the Tiger, Thurl Ravenscroft, decades ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEVISION COMMERCIAL)

THURL RAVENSCROFT: Kellogg's sugar Frosted Flakes are great.

HOBSON: Well, Lee Marshall's friend, Tom Kelly told the LA radio station KRTH that Marshall didn't like doing the Tony the Tiger voice with kids around, because he didn't want to ruin the image for them. But even his sports reporting, like announcing a wrestling match, you can hear that roar of a voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS ANNOUNCEMENT)

MARSHALL: Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the great state of Florida. Kerry, I've seen I don't how many of your matches. I saw when you beat Ric Flair and become the NWA heavyweight champion of the world. There are...

HOBSON: Well, Kellogg's is now looking for a voice to replace Lee Marshall as Tony the Tiger, someone with deep bass, just like him. Marshall died late last month of esophageal cancer. He was 64 years old.

YOUNG: And you know, it's a dream some day to do something important with your voice like that, that really matters.

HOBSON: Yeah.

YOUNG: You know, make a difference for kids like that, do something with your voice.

HOBSON: This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Related Program