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NEWS FLASH: Lorenzo Music, voice of "Garfield", dies

Discussion in 'Saturday Morning Forever!' started by Anthonynotes, Aug 8, 2001.

  1. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    The voice of Garfield himself (and Carleton the Doorman on the old TV show "Rhoda"), Lorenzo Music, has died at the age of 64 from lung cancer:
    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010807/us/obit_music_2.html

    He'll surely be missed...

    One of my favorite "Garfield and Friends" episodes featured Garfield getting zapped inside his TV set in a "Twilight Zone" parody (with Garfield at one point screaming "help! My horizontal hold's slipping!"). Another favorite ep: "Robodie 2", where he stops the show at one point to note how similar this story was to the *original* "Robodie" ("same plot, same characters, and most of the same jokes")... :)

    And Music was pretty entertaining on "Rhoda" as well (said show's odd theme song aside). For those who don't know, "Rhoda" was a spinoff of the 70's "Mary Tyler Moore" series, where Rhoda was Mary's best friend; in the spinoff, IIRC she moved to New York City (and away from Minneapolis, where "Mary Tyler Moore" took place)...

    Wonder if Garfield will get a new voice/what it'll sound like...

    -B.
     
  2. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton This is a close-up?
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    And how. I felt the loss so deeply, I spent many hours Monday writing a tribute article to honor his memory (and added even more to it on Tuesday):

    http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3949

    I'm pleased to see the media's finally alerted to this. I've found only 2 other obits in the press up until now. I was beginning to think the death of another voice actor was going to go largely overlooked by the media.

    ----------------------------
    One of my favorite "Garfield and Friends" episodes featured Garfield getting zapped inside his TV set in a "Twilight Zone" parody (with Garfield at one point screaming "help! My horizontal hold's slipping!"). Another favorite ep: "Robodie 2", where he stops the show at one point to note how similar this story was to the *original* "Robodie" ("same plot, same characters, and most of the same jokes")... :)
    -----------------------------

    Yep, both favorites of mine as well, particularly the Twilight Zone spoof. And "A Garfield Christmas" is an annual holiday family tradition with my family - it brings back so many fond childhood memories. My brothers and I were just like Jon and Doc-boy. And my grandmother's just like Jon's mom - "Eat! Eat! Eat!".


    ---------------------
    Wonder if Garfield will get a new voice/what it'll sound like...
    ---------------------

    According to an inside source, Paws Inc (the Garfield company) struck a deal with Lorenzo that in the payment of a small fee they would have the right to hire a soundalike for him in the event of his death. But it's not known if this will happen. I'm sure the issue will be discussed in due time.

    Other than Frank Welker, I've never heard anyone (professional or otherwise) who could imitate Music with any degree of accuracy. Music's voice was just too unique.

    Mark Evanier told me that Frank Welker once filled in for an entire recording session on "Garfield & Friends" when Music was out sick. When Music returned, they recorded his lines and edited them in - "except that the sound editors got confused and couldn't tell on some of the lines which were Frank and which were Lorenzo doing Frank...so we left some Welker lines in that episode."

    There's also a rather funny anecdote about the time Frank first learned to imitate Lorenzo included in the tribute article I wrote - I was even given permission to republish it.

    Mark also told me there's a car commercial running right now (I don't watch much TV and haven't seen it) that has Garfield speaking just a few lines in it. Mark says, "I don't know who did them, but they're not Lorenzo.

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Frankly, I wish they would retire Garfield from speaking at all - there's really no one who can duplicate Lorenzo's incredibly unique voice and still manage the kind of performance that only he could deliver.
     
    #2 Craig Crumpton, Aug 8, 2001
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2001
  3. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    >>>I'm pleased to see the media's finally alerted to this. I've found only 2 other obits in the press up until now. I was beginning to think the death of another voice actor was going to go largely overlooked by the media.

    I'd guess that it's been noticed because of both the famous nature of Garfield, and also because of Music's role in "Rhoda"...

    Haven't seen that particular car ad, though it'll probably air somewhere around here---seeing as Paws Inc. is situated outside of Muncie, IN (Davis' hometown and about 40-50 miles from Indianapolis), and that in Indiana (esp. Indianapolis) Garfield seems to appear in a fair amount of places (there's a Indiana state educational license plate with Garfield on it, a few real estate ads with him on it [billboards, and in the real estate section of the local paper], and Garfield was used in a local jazz festival earlier this month). Thus given the cash cow that he is, I'd assume they'll find a replacement voice instead of retiring him outright...

    BTW, is "Garfield and Friends" still airing in Nickelodeon these days, or is it off the air entirely? A bit of a "tribute" to Music might be a thoughtful thing to do by Nick (either with a "Garfield" marathon or a "Rhoda" one), a la the one they gave Schulz when "Peanuts" ended its run...

    -B.
     
  4. DR. BELCH

    DR. BELCH Member

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    Scary thought....

    It's said that deaths happen in threes. First layout man and sometime co-director Maurice Noble passed away in May...now L. Music...does anyone know how Chuck Jones' health, at 89, is? [​IMG]
     
  5. Craig Marinaro

    Craig Marinaro The Feast of 1,000 Beasts
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    Gookie: That's a wonderfully-written article. Several of those quotes brought a tear or two to these cynical ol' '90's-teen eyes of mine. And I couldn't help smiling at the morbidly amusing had-to-use-it title.

    I was first introduced to Garfield as a kid by the TV specials and series, and I always liked him much more in animation than in print. Music took the rather one-dimensional, selfish slob, and just made him so believable. The voice was such a perfect fit, and he became one of the first voice actors who I was really aware of as a unique personality. I recall hearing him as a mole in an episode of Darkwing Duck when I was 6 or 7, and being thrilled that I recognized the voice. And I was equally thrilled (and surprised) when I was introduced to Rhoda several years ago and caught his name in the producer credits. I never even knew he wrote he wrote the Bob Newhart Show song. He did such a great job of hiding himself, nobody really knew all that he could do, except for seeing little snippets here and there, I guess. But it's really true about the warm, comforting aura he brought to all his characters. I got a "don't worry, take it easy--life's not as complicated as it seems" feeling everytime I heard that lazy intonation. I liked him.

    -C
    Had a strange feeling I'd come back and find someone famous had died...I thought it'd be Bob Hope though.
     
    #5 Craig Marinaro, Aug 8, 2001
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2001
  6. The Mad Hatter

    The Mad Hatter Whyyyyy'sis heead so biiiiiig?

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    Not much else I can add here that hasn't already been said... Lorenzo's voice has always been wonderfully unique and memorable. Even after years, I can recognize his voice instantly. And Gookie's article puts all others to shame.

    Actually, during the summer around here Garfield's popped up in a waterpark commercial... it was for a local waterpark, but Gar's parts are so non-specific I suspect that his parts were meant to be dropped into any local commercial for a waterpark. I wonder if Lorenzo did that one... it sounded perfectly like him.

    Oh, and Lorenzo wasn't a mole in Darkwing Duck... he was a cute mutant spider that was manipulated by the mole.
     
  7. Craig Marinaro

    Craig Marinaro The Feast of 1,000 Beasts
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    Ah, that's right. I spotted that one immediately. But he *ALSO* had a smaller part in the same episode as one of Prof. Moliarty's henchmoles, IIRC, with a slightly altered version of his usual voice, and I caught that one a bit later.
     
  8. BourgeoisBuffoon

    BourgeoisBuffoon Shouldn't I Be Melting Now...?

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    Waaahhhh!

    Sigh....

    I remember seeing Garfield for the first time....that voice that Music gave had been so...Garfield. It was always a pleasure watching that show....but the only eppy (episode) of Garfield I remember right now is a two parter where Jon dates a witch/baseball fanatic.

    I also remember hearing Music in a driver's education course video with those crash test dummies! It's weird seeing a mouth move to his voice after watching Garfield so long....

    ...but I feel deeply over his loss. He had a respectable career and a unique, funny voice. It is a sad fact he had to die indeed....:(
     
  9. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton This is a close-up?
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    Thank you kindly. I'm honored.

    I recieved an additional surprise and a huge honor today when I was contacted by the PR director for "Paws Inc" - they want to link to my article on Garfield.com and even asked to add a quote from Jim Davis.

    If I weren't so sad over his loss, this would have really made my day.
     
  10. Craig Marinaro

    Craig Marinaro The Feast of 1,000 Beasts
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    Wow! Wonder how they happened to come across it so quickly?

    At any rate, congratulations! I'm so proud. ;)

    See from your latest addition to the article that Mr. Music liked the old Bing Crosby standard "Blue Skies." I like his taste in music, too.

    -C
    Blue days, all of them gone...nothin' but blue skies from now on....
     
  11. The Mad Hatter

    The Mad Hatter Whyyyyy'sis heead so biiiiiig?

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    Too cool! Let us know when you get the Jim Davis quote!
     
  12. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton This is a close-up?
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    It's already up - I added it yesterday.
     
  13. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton This is a close-up?
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    I don't know how they came across it. The only thing I can figure is it was because I contacted the webmaster of Garfield.com and requested that they reinstate a rare interview with Lorenzo that had gone missing for a few months. (A short 3 hours later, I got a reply and it was back up again.)

    But I never mentioned to him that I'd written a tribute article for Lorenzo - it wasn't online yet at the time. He would have had to follow the link to TZ in my sig line in my reply to him.

    Oh, BTW, I've updated the article again with new quotes direct from 2 of Lorenzo's fellow voice actors - Corey Burton and Greg Burson - who both kindly offered to share a memory of Lorenzo.

    Thanks for the word of congrats too - I was enormously honored that Jim Davis himself asked to add a quote. And the PAWS rep called my article "a beautiful tribute" - talk about awed. I was rather floored, getting a compliment like that from an official source.
     
  14. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton This is a close-up?
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    Hey, look! We got a link on the front page of http://www.Garfield.com !

    (My article is linked as "Remembering Lorenzo".)

    I'm also a bit disappointed that they have plagiarized my work on their "So Long, Old Friend" page - http://www.garfield.com/news/lorenzo.html - they added a few words, but otherwise, those 2 first paragraphs were lifted directly from my article. This is the kinda thing that really aggravates a writer, folks. And if it weren't a tribute to Lorenzo's memory, I'd be outraged.

    I plan to e-mail the PAWS INC rep who contacted me earlier this week and ask that they credit me accordingly. Tribute or not, plagiarism is just plain wrong.
     

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