Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Norman Rose

Norman Rose had one of those voices, one of those huge inexplicable voices. It has been called "the voice of god." In 1975 he actually played the voice of god in Woody Allen’s 1975 comedy Love And Death. For me A baritone really cant make that claim. James Earl Jones is more of what I equate with that description. Regardless, Rose was a smooth baritone radio man virtually without peer.

He's appeared in or lent his voice to dozens of films Message From Space (1978) War And Peace (1968) Biloxi Blues (1988) The Violators (1957) The Anderson Tapes (1971) Who Killed Mary What’s Her Name? (1971) The Front (1976) stop me anytime...

He was born in Philadelphia in 1917. He attended George Washington University and started out as an actor. But his great pipes led him to radio. In the 1940s he left Washington D.C. for theActor's Studio Drama School in New York. His first radio gigs were voice over on programs like "The Greatest Story Ever Told." He also did a radio show called "The Eternal Light" a dramatic Jewish history program. He narrated CBS Radio Mystery Theater and was also the voice of the Juan Valdez on those TV coffee commercials.

But As much as radio and television made up the bulk of his work, they don't cover it all. He also acted off Broadway, recorded children's albums translated and dramatized foreign plays, narrated modern ballet and recorded books for the blind.

It's also interesting to note that in the early 1990s he recorded a set of liners for 101.1 WRR in Dallas, TX. They still use those spots to this day. He died of pneumonia Nov. 12 2004 at the age of 87.