Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15

Today, we feature Jim Dale: an actor/songwriter that's a near icon in his native Great Britain, but might seem comparatively invisible in the US. But even if you haven't heard of him, you've probably heard him.
As a singer/songwriter under the guidance of Beatles producer George Martin, he made several trips up the UK charts in the late 50's.

His biggest songwriting success, the theme to 1966's "Georgy Girl", went to #2 in the US for the Seekers; as for himself, he was nominated for an Academy Award.

During the 60's, he appeared in 11 films of the "Carry On..." series, a series of bawdy satirical comedies.
The 70's brought him to the US, most prominently to Broadway (receiving his first of five Tony nominations in 1974, and winning a Best Actor in 1980.) He also played some hissably funny villains in such Disney comedies as Hot Lead Cold Feet and Pete's Dragon

In the last decade, Jim Dale's voice has gained a magical quality for millions of listeners. He is the narrator of all seven US releases of the Harry Potter book series, as well as for the Harry Potter video games. His work for the Harry Potter won him two Grammys, got him an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II, and earned him a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records (for voicing 146 characters for the Deathly Hallows recordings.)
His voice also narrated such fairytale worlds as those "Perfect" Walgreens commercials and the cult TV series Pushing Dasies...

Of all the good things and great actors I associate with that show, I've gotta say that Jim Dale's narration's the best thing about it...

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