Frees, Paul


Frees, Paul
(1920?–1986)
   Few vocal artists have made as sizable a contribution to American popular culture as Paul Frees, who provided voiceover dubbing for several characters in SPARTACUS (1960). One might be tempted to say that Frees was best known for any one of a number of his vocal characterizations: Boris Badenov (from the TV cartoon The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle), the Pillsbury Doughboy,Toucan Sam, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—the list goes on and on. But though his creations are internationally famous, Frees himself was never a household name.
   Frees started his show business career in vaudeville in the early 1930s as a comic, using the stage name “Buddy Green. ” He then moved to radio and then to feature films, where he did a tremendous amount of work, dubbing and looping movies, as a voice double for such actors as Humphrey Bogart, TONY CURTIS, Peter Lorre, Orson Welles, and Toshiro Mifune. It was in this capacity that Frees made his contribution to Spartacus, dubbing the voices of KIRK DOUGLAS and several other actors. During the postproduction sound process, Douglas himself often was too occupied with larger concerns as producer of the film to spend time looping lines, and many of the other actors were unavailable, having moved on to other projects. Here is where Frees stepped in. Frees’s many jobs brought him an annual income of more than $1 million. His career spanned 54 years, and he was still regularly working at the time of his death.
   References
   ■ “Paul Frees” (obituary), Variety, November 12, 1986, p. 94;
   ■ “Paul Frees, 66,Was Voice of ‘Boris Badenov,’ ” Newsday, November 5, 1986, p. 48;
   ■ Silverman, Steven B. , “Say It Again, Paul Frees,” letter to the editor, New York Times, February 16, 1992, sec. 2, p. 4.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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