Lee Marshall, Voice of Tony The Tiger & Your Childhood Saturdays, Has Passed Away

A memorable piece of advertising history has died. Lee Marshall, the voice actor who played Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, has died. According to the Los Angeles Times, Marshall died of esophageal cancer on April 26 at Santa Monica Hospital. He was 64.

Everyone knows Tony the Tiger's famous line, "They're gr-r-r-eat!" It was the one we heard during Saturday Morning cartoons that made us convince our parents to buy super sugary cereal at the grocery store. Marshall wasn't the original Tony the Tiger and began contributing to the commercials in 1999 when he started to takeover for the original Tony, Thurl Ravenscroft. Marshall assisted Ravenscroft with lines as he was losing his voice due to old age and took over full-time when Ravenscroft passed away in 2005. While you likely heard a combination of Lee and Ravenscroft growing up, there's no doubt that the line "They're gr-r-r-eat!" is one that has become solidified in pop culture history and Marshall was a big contributor to this.

In addition to voicing Tony the Tiger, over his lifetime Marshall worked as a DJ, sports broadcaster, wrestling announcer, and a cartoon voice actor. He got his first radio job at only age 14 by lying about his age because his deep voice had already developed. Of Marshall's voice, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda once said, "If God ever wanted to make a speech, Lee Marshall would get the call."

Marshall is survived by his wife Judie, son Jason, step-daughter Eve, and granddaughter Kate.


Image: Kellogs; Slate/Twitter