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Peter Fernandez
Fernandez attending the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Speed Racer, with his grandson
Born (1927-01-29)January 29, 1927
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died July 15, 2010(2010-07-15) (aged 83)
Pomona, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, voice actor, director, author, child model
Years active 1941–2009
Spouse(s) Noel Smith (m. 1978; his death 2010)
Children 3

Peter Fernandez (January 29, 1927 – July 15, 2010) was an American actor, voice actor, director, author and child model. Despite a career extending from the 1930s, he is probably best known for his roles in the 1967 anime Speed Racer. Fernandez co-wrote the scripts, was the voice director, and translated the English-language version of the theme song. He was instrumental in introducing many Japanese anime series to English-speaking audiences.[1][2][3]

Life and career[edit | edit source]

Born in New York City, Fernandez was a child model for the John Robert Power Agency. He then appeared on both radio and Broadway, appearing in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine in 1941.[4] He was drafted into the United States Army at age 18, late in World War II. His radio appearances included roles on Mr. District Attorney, Let's Pretend, Gangbusters, My Best Girls, Superman, and Suspense, as well as soap operas. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, he became a prolific writer for both radio and pulp fiction. He authored the children's book, Bedtime Stories from the Bible.[citation needed]

Fernandez is known for his voice work, and has been heard in English adaptions of many foreign films. Fernandez is best known as the American voice of the title character—and his brother, Racer X -- in the 1967 anime series Speed Racer. Besides acting in Speed Racer, he was the lyricist of English version of that show's theme song. He returned in the 2008 animated series Speed Racer: The Next Generation to play a middle-aged Headmaster Spritle. In the live-action 2008 film Speed Racer, Fernandez had a small part as a racing announcer. The rapid-fire delivery of dialogue made famous by Speed Racer was devised by Fernandez and his American voice co-stars in order to make the dialogue jibe with the original Japanese mouth movements.[5]

He was the voice director for Courage the Cowardly Dog, which he has said was his favorite. He made cameos credited as "additional characters" in several episodes, besides his role as the voice of Robot Randy. He was voice director for Robert Mandell's Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. Additional voice acting credits include in such dubbed anime titles as Astro Boy, Gigantor, Marine Boy, Star Blazers and Superbook.[6]

Peter Fernandez (left) with Corinne Orr (right) and a fan at New York Anime Festival 2007

In 2007, he was awarded The Special American Anime Award for Outstanding Achievement. Fernandez was interviewed in 2008 on his activities and voice over work.[7] His last major public appearance was at the 2009 Seattle, Washington Sakura-Con.

Personal life and death[edit | edit source]

Fernandez lived in Pomona, New York with his wife, Noel Smith, whom he married in 1978; together they have three children.[8][9]

He died on July 15, 2010 after a battle with lung cancer at the age of 83.[10]

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Anime roles[edit | edit source]

Western animation roles[edit | edit source]

Video game roles[edit | edit source]

Movie roles[edit | edit source]

Other works[edit | edit source]

  • Peter Absolute on the Erie Canal (Audio Book Serial)
  • Speed Racer (Theme Song Lyrics)
  • X-Minus One (Radio Series)

Staff[edit | edit source]

Dialogue direction[edit | edit source]

Direction[edit | edit source]

Dubbing direction[edit | edit source]

  • Nattens engel (1998)

Voice direction[edit | edit source]

Writing[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "'Speed Racer': drawing on an anime legend". Japan Times. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ff20080703r1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. "'Americanizing' a cartoon classic". Japan Times. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ff20080703r2.html. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  3. Nelson, Valerie J. (2010-07-25). "Peter Fernandez dies at 83; helped bring Japanese animation to American audiences". LA Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/25/local/la-me-peter-fernandez-20100726. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  4. Watch on the Rhine at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. "Peter Fernandez, voice of Speed Racer, dead at 83", forum.bcdb.com; July 15, 2010.
  6. "Peter Fernandez: The Voice of SPEED RACER Dies July 15, 2010". EInsiders. http://www.einsiders.com/hollywood-obituaries/peter-fernandez-the-voice-of-speed-racer-dies-july-15-2010.html. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  7. "Speed Racer Interview". About.com. http://animatedtv.about.com/od/dvdandvideoreviews/a/fernandez.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  8. Hevesi, Dennis (2010-07-17). "Peter Fernandez, Voice of Speed Racer in the U.S., Dies at 83". The News York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/arts/television/17fernandez.html?_r=1. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  9. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/25/local/la-me-peter-fernandez-20100726
  10. "Speed Racer Voice Actor Peter Fernandez Passes Away (Updated)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-07-15/speed-racer-voice-actor-peter-fernandez-passes-away. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  11. "Return Laps for the First Voice of Speed Racer". New York Times. 2008-05-10. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/10/movies/10speed.html?scp=28&sq=astro%20boy&st=cse. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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