Rick May, the voice actor behind Soldier (Team Fortress 2), Peppy Hare, Andross (Star Fox 64), and more, has passed away at 80 due to the coronavirus.
According to the Rekindle School’s website (where May had been a teacher), he had suffered a stroke in February, and was moved into a nursing home for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, while he was there, he contracted the novel coronavirus. He was later moved to a Swedish hospital for care, before he passed away.
May’s other roles in video games included Dr M. (Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves), and Genghis Khan (Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, along with the narrator).
He had also performed in a wide variety of theatrical productions, as explained by the Rekindle School.
“During his long and rewarding theatrical career, Rick directed or appeared in over 300 shows, ranging from Shakespeare to musical comedy.
The long time artistic director of Renton Civic Theatre and Civic Light Opera, Rick worked over many decades as a freelance actor and director. He also toured in the award-winning one man play, Bully! An Adventure with Teddy Roosevelt.
His roles included Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Ben Franklin in 1776, Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum, W. O. Gant in Look Homeward, Angel, Oscar in The Odd Couple, Weller in The Gin Game, Sid in Take Me Along, Drummond in Inherit the Wind, and his personal favorite, Matthew the Storyteller in Cotton Patch Gospel, a role he performed for three seasons.”
The Rekindle School have also offered to pass along condolences to his family, via this email address.
Fellow voice actor John Patrick Lowrie (Team Fortress 2’s Sniper, Halo 3: ODST as Kinsler), also shared his thoughts on Facebook. The pair had worked together on the radio show The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. May had been playing Inspector Lestrade since 1998, and it would be his last work.
“He was also dealing with cancer;” Lowrie revealed. “I think he might have bragged that it took a pandemic to bring him down.”
“I met him over thirty years ago and while we weren’t the socializing type of pals we always enjoyed running into each other at a gig or audition. Every recording session with him was always laugh-filled. Yet when the lights went down or the engineer said, ‘rolling’ he was the consummate professional. He worked hard to get it right and we could always depend on him to deliver. In talking with his wife Diana I found out that he loved the sessions, the camaraderie, the give and take during the rehearsals and actual recording. Whenever one of his shows aired he would listen, as do I to mine. However, Rick would listen to the ones he’d had no part in and write to say, ‘Wasn’t so and so great!’ or ‘Man, that was a fantastic scrip!’ I would always send him a copy of the finished product.
Rick May was a force of nature, a pain in the ass sometimes but never to the point where I would not use him again and again. We were working friends, colleagues and buddies. Hopefully there will be those who will speak of his years in the theater, as a teacher, a director and voice talent, of his one-man show as Teddy Roosevelt. I knew the man who asked me if I could get him a copy of an old Republic Studios serial cliffhanger ‘The Phantom Rider’ if he got me an autograph from his friend Ty Hardin from the old ‘Bronco’ TV series.
I knew the man who along with Frank Buxton and David Selvig stood and applauded my daughter Andee when I introduced her to the audience at the Kirkland Performance Center for what would be her first appearance as a professional actor.
I knew the man who was always encouraging when I had my bout with cancer.
I knew the man whose passing leaves a huge hole in my heart and I believe so many others.
I wish you strength Diana.
Rick I wish for you to know eternal peace.
Goodbye buddy, I’m gonna miss the hell out of you.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19 officially, or Chinese Flu to others) has affected many worldwide, from businesses to public gatherings and events. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. This includes the postponement of GDC, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with the cancellation of E3 2020 (including digital events), and Comiket 98.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 1.883 million total confirmed cases worldwide, and over 1.323 million active cases. There have been over 117,000 deaths, however over 443,000 people have made a “total recovery.”