Birth Date: June 22, 1920
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Also Credited as: Paul H. Frees
Date of Death: November 2, 1986 / Age: 66
Location of Death: Tiburon, California, USA
Cause of Death: Heart Failure
Biography: Paul Frees (June 22, 1920 - November 2, 1986) was an American voice actor.
Born Solomon Hersh Frees in Chicago, he began his acting career in 1942, and remained active for over forty years. During this time, he was involved in more than 250 films, cartoons, and TV appearances; like many voice actors, his appearances were often uncredited.
Frees' early radio career was cut short when he was drafted into World War II where he was at Normandy on D-Day. He was wounded in action and was returned to the United States for a year of recuperation. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute under the G.I. Bill. His first wife's failing health forced him to drop out and return to radio work. He appeared frequently on such Hollywood radio series, including Escape, playing lead roles and alternating with William Conrad as the opening voice, Suspense as the opening announcer in the late 40s, and parts on Gunsmoke and Crime Classics. One of his few starring roles in this medium was as Jethro Dumont in the 1949 series The Green Lama, as well as a syndicated mystery series The Player' (1948), in which Frees narrated and played all of the parts.
Frees was often called upon in the 1950s and 1960s to "re-loop" the dialogue of other actors, often to correct for foreign accents, complete lack of English proficiency, or poor line readings by unprofessionals. These dubs extended from a few lines to entire roles.
Some of his most memorable voices were those of Disney's Professor Ludwig Von Drake, the narrator in The Haunted Mansion and several pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean (both rides at Disney parks), and many characters in Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated TV specials such as the Burgermeister Meisterburger in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970).
He was a regular presence in Jay Ward cartoons, providing the voices of Boris Badenov, Inspector Fenwick (from Dudley Do-Right), and the Hoppity Hooper narrator, among numerous others. While most voice actors settled down with one major studio for their career, he spent major parts of his career working with at least 9 of the major animation production companies of the 20th century: Walt Disney Studios, Walter Lantz Studios, UPA, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, MGM Studios, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, and the aforementioned Jay Ward Productions and Rankin-Bass Company.
He provided the voices of both John Lennon and George Harrison in the 1964 cartoon series based on The Beatles, and of The Thing in the 1967 series based on the Fantastic Four.
In TV commercials, he was the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy, the 7-Up "Undeer," and the elf who called out to the Jolly Green Giant, "Hey, Green Giant, what's new besides ho-ho-ho?" Frees also provided the voice of the eccentric billionaire John Beresford Tipton, always seated in his chair with his back to the viewer while talking to his employee Michael Anthony (Marvin Miller), on the live-action dramatic series The Millionaire.
Although Frees is primarily known for his voice work, he was also a songwriter and screenwriter, his major work being the little-seen 1960 film The Beatniks, a Reefer Madness-esque screed against the then-rising Beatnik counterculture.