Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Veteran Voice Actor Actor Tom Kane 'Forced Into Early Retirement' Following Stroke

Long-time voice actor Tom Kane has been forced to enter early retirement, a new statement from his family reads. Kane, best known to Nickelodeon viewers for providing his voice to Eliza's chimpanzee sidekick Darwin in The Wild Thornberrys, suffered a stroke at the end of last year and the statement says that's the reason why Kane is no longer able to pursue voice work.

"Because of this stroke my dad has been forced into early retirement," Kane's daughter Sam shared on his Facebook page on Friday. "The damage to his speech center is just too severe. He cannot read well nor get out the words he wants, which is sort of required for voice acting. He has what's called Apraxia which means he has difficulty moving smoothly from one sound, syllable or word to another. Groping movements like with his jaw, lips or tongue to make the correct movement for speech sounds are impaired. Essentially he knows exactly what he wants to say, he knows exactly what's going on, but the words are trapped in his head, and when they do come out, it's usually too slurred to understand."

The statement then points out that Kane is able to communicate with loved ones using non-verbal communication, with Sam joking, "Thank God he's an actor and great at charades."

Throughout his career, Kane appeared in most animated shows one can think of. He was a mainstay in the worlds created by Lucasfilm, with jobs as recent as voicing the narrator on Star Wars: The Bad Batch. He was also one of the primary voice actors for Yoda throughout Lucasfilm's video game offerings.

"I have SO much more to say about this like how many people miss having conversations with him, especially his children and wife. How f--ked up it is that in a split second one of the most talented voice actors ever lost his voice and career," the family statement added. "I'll stop here or else I'll cry and I've already done that like a thousand times this year!! Please feel free to send him letters! I'll be managing this PO Box, please add your email or Instagram handle so I can send pictures to you of my dad receiving your mail! He has also been practicing his signature and would love to start autographing from home!!"

In addition to The Wild Thornberrys, Kane also lent his voice to characters such as Evil Eric in CatDog, Dean Cain in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, and Lorenzo Suave in The X's, as well as various characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra (Judge Hotah), Angry Beavers (including Oxnard Montalvo, Mayor and Jack Stagger), Power Rangers S.P.D. and Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man.

In the Star Wars universe, Kane is known for his work in The Clone Wars for voicing Jedi Master Yoda and Admiral Yularen as well as narrating the series. He also portrayed Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Kane has also been part of other major franchises including Woodhouse in Archer and Professor Utonium in The Powerpuff Girls, Magneto in Wolverine and the X-Men and Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Ultron in Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and Robot Chicken.

Additionally, Kane was known for narrating a handful of Disney and Pixar film trailers including Cars, which you can view here.

In the gaming industry, Kane has provided his iconic voice for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Call of Duty: WaW and Black Ops I – III.

And if you are a Disney Parks fan, you may recognize his voice on Walt Disney World’s Monorail System. Kane is also the narrator of the Happily Ever After fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom and he was rumored to be a host of Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland, along with Mickey Mouse at the theme park. You can read more about Kane’s work on his official website, tomkane.com.

NickALive!'s thoughts and well-wishes are with Tom Kane and his family during this time.

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