Voice-Over Icon Joseph Sirola Passes Away

Joe Sirola - photo by Curran McClure Reid

Joseph Sirola Passes Away

Tony Award-winning producer, voice-over, and screen actor Joseph Sirola passed away this week at the age of 89. He died of complications related to respiratory failure in New York City. Sirola won a Tony in 2014 for producing A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

The King of Voice-Over

Joseph Sirola
Joseph Sirola, the voice of Dr. Doom
Image via IMDb

The human voice is powerful. Depending on its tone, it has the ability to convey and stir up every emotion on the spectrum. Certain people spend decades crafting their speaking voice as a tool they can use to build a career. Many voice actors find their place in animation or radio. However, a subsection of voice actors focus primarily on advertisement narration. Joseph Sirola dedicated so much of his life to the art of voice acting that he became known as “The King of Voice-Over.” The New Jersey native boasts an astounding 600 credits on IMDb, and that doesn’t include his advertisement work.

Sirola fought in the Korean War immediately following his high school graduation. When he returned, he worked for a sales company and took his first acting class at the age of 28. His acting career began off Broadway and led him to a co-starring role in the Broadway play The Unsinkable Molly Brown. The attention landed him a role on CBS’s A Brighter Day.

From there, he began an extensive television and voice-over career. Sirola provided voice work for nearly 10,000 commercials during his career. He was a spokesman for Vicks 44, Wendy’s, GE, Ford, and others. Furthermore, he voiced Dr. Doom on the original Fantastic Four cartoon. When asked about his approach to voice acting he said, “Not knowing any better, I used the mic as a person. I spoke to the audience rather than at them. I went from $3,200 a year to a million a year for 20 years.”

A Broadway Heavy Hitter Passes

During his illustrious career, Sirola returned to Broadway as an actor and producer. In 2014, he won his first Tony award, as the producer of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Additionally, he won almost two dozen Clio awards for his work in advertisements. He also maintained an impressive rooftop garden in New York City, his home.

Unfortunately, Joseph Sirola passed away at the age of 89 following complications related to respiratory failure. Although he is gone, he won’t be soon forgotten. The body of work he left behind includes the likes of The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, Quincy, M.E., NYPD Blue, The Rockford Files, and countless others. 

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About the author

MJ Smith

MJ Smith makes his home in California, and when not listening to Hamilton, podcasts and writes about pop culture on the internet. He loves board games, Swamp Thing, and The Wachowski's SPEED RACER.

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