Tony Jay

Last updated

Tony Jay
Tony Jay.jpg
Born(1933-02-02)2 February 1933 [1]
London, England, U.K.
Died13 August 2006(2006-08-13) (aged 73)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills
Education Pinner County Grammar School
Years active1966–2006
Marta MacGeraghty
(m. 2004)

Tony Jay (2 February 1933 [1] – 13 August 2006) [2] was an English actor.


A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was known for his voice work in radio, animation, film, and video games. [3] Jay was particularly noted for his distinctive baritone voice, which often led to him being cast in villainous roles. [4] He was best known as the voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), [4] Megabyte in ReBoot (1994–2001), Shere Khan in The Jungle Book 2 and the TV series TaleSpin , and the Elder God (plus various other roles) in the Legacy of Kain series of video games. [3]

Jay also made many distinguished on-screen appearances, including the role of Nigel St John on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–1995). He further made guest appearances on programs including The Golden Girls in 1987, Twin Peaks in 1990–91, and Night Court in 1991. [5] His most prominent onscreen role, however, is that of Professor Werner in Twins (1988), the father figure/mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger's protagonist, Julius Benedict. [3]

Early life

Jay was born in London. He attended Pinner County Grammar School, [6] and completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force in 1953. [7] He later recalled, "I was always an actor at school"; but opted for the financial security of a real estate business. Jay moved to South Africa in about 1966, [8] after hearing of the potential there for his line of work. [9] He left South Africa to return to England in 1973, after which he moved to the United States in 1986. [3]


While establishing his real estate business in England, Jay acted occasionally in amateur productions. [9]

South Africa

Within three months of relocating to South Africa at the age of 33, [8] [10] Jay found himself acting in radio dramas such as the detective series Sounds of Darkness where he played a savvy but blind FBI agent (1967–1972). The experience led him to decide to take acting up professionally. [3] [8] [9]

Jay acted, wrote, and directed radio plays on the South African Broadcasting Corporation's first commercial radio station, Springbok Radio (1950–85). He was especially associated with the comic series Taxi! (1969–1972,1975–1978), in which he not only portrayed New York cabby Red Kowalski, but also co-wrote many scripts with Joe Stewardson. Other shows in which he was involved included Lux Radio Theatre, Playhouse 90, and Tuesday Theatre. [11] Jay adapted, cast, and directed the first 6 months of episodes for The Avengers . The series, based on Seasons 4–6 of the 1960s British television series of the same name, [12] was broadcast on Springbok from 6 December 1971 to 28 December 1973. [13] To bridge the gap between the visual orientation of the British television series and the sound-only perspective of radio, Jay created a narrator which he embued with irony and scepticism. [14]

Jay's voice work led him to do commercials for companies such as Gunston Cigarettes, Barclays Bank, and Bols Brandy. [11]


After Jay's return to England in 1973 [9] he worked in various television productions. [12] For the BBC series Fall of Eagles (1974) he portrayed Tsar Alexander III of Russia, during which time he met Patrick Stewart, who played Vladimir Lenin. [7] [9] Jay appeared as the merchant in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (1981) for BBC Shakespeare, and in single episodes of popular television programmes such as The Sweeney (1975), The Professionals (1978) and the comedy Whoops Apocalypse (1982). [7]

During this period he was cast as Vladimir Maximovitch in Woody Allen's Love and Death (1975), which was shot in Hungary and France. [7] George Lucas met with Jay about playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in a planned film with the working title Galactic Warfare . Despite Jay agreeing to the role, Lucas decided to cast Alec Guinness, instead. [9]

On stage he had small roles in plays such as Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters (1976) and Terence Rattigan's [15] [16] The Deep Blue Sea (1981). [17] [18] More important roles followed with an appearance as Jaggers in Great Expectations (1984) at the Old Vic, [19] and as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice . [3] [7]

Jay was cast as Vincent Crummles in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 8 12-hour-long production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1986) at Stratford-upon-Avon. [20]

United States

After a tour of England, Nicholas Nickleby embarked on a limited tour of the United States, starting with performances in Los Angeles in June 1986, then on to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City. [21] "Even before I left England, I told friends I'd be staying if I got the chance," he recalled in a 1986 The New York Times interview. [8]

During its run from August to October 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway, Jay's performance was described as "brilliantly played" by the New York Times . [22] [23] Consequently, he was nominated for the 1987 Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play. [24]

Jay's acting drew the attention of an agent who arranged for him to return from England to the United States for an audition. Jay was cast in a pilot program called Circus which was unsuccessful. On set Jay met make-up artist Kathy Rogers, who would become his second wife. He moved to the United States where he became a resident. [25]

In addition, Jay won parts in television series such as Night Court (1991), The Golden Girls (1987), Twins (1988), and Eerie, Indiana (1991). Bigger roles included Paracelsus on the 1987 CBS TV series adaptation of Beauty and the Beast ; Minister Campio on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992); and Lex Luthor's villainous aide-de-camp Nigel St. John in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1992–95). [7]

Jay's voice-over work included Monsieur D'Arque, the amoral asylum superintendent, in Disney's 1991 hit animated film version of Beauty and the Beast . From 1994 to 2001 he supplied the voice for the virus Megabyte in the computer animated television show ReBoot . According to one source, [26] Jay was preferred to Patrick Stewart, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen for the voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's 1996 animated film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame , directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, who had also steered his performance in the film version of Beauty and the Beast. Jay reprised Frollo's voice for Walt Disney World's nighttime light and fireworks show Fantasmic! From 1995 to 1996 Jay was the voice of the alien warlord Lord Dregg, the villain during the last two seasons of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series.

He is also well known among fans of the 1996–2003 video game series Legacy of Kain for his voicing of the original Mortanius and of the Elder God, alongside several other minor characters. [27]

In various animated projects Jay took over the voice of Shere Khan, which actor George Sanders had originated for the 1967 Disney animated film The Jungle Book . In 11 episodes spanning 1990–91, Jay voiced Shere Khan for Disney's animated TV series TaleSpin , [27] The Jungle Book: Rhythm and Groove videogame (2000), and the House of Mouse (2001–02). His final appearance as Khan came in the 2003 film The Jungle Book 2 . His final role was voicing Spiderus in the Miss Spider series.

Jay was a devotee of classic Broadway and made several recordings and performances of old-time Broadway lyrics, in spoken-word form. A CD of these readings, Speaking of Broadway, was released in 2005; [27] a version recorded in 1996 was entitled Poets on Broadway, as was his website. On it Jay recites lyrics written by the likes of Noël Coward, Ira Gershwin, and Oscar Hammerstein, accompanied by synthesized music which he composed. [28]

Personal life

In 2004 he married Marta MacGeraghty, they remained married for two years until his death in 2006. [2]

Illness and death

In April 2006, Jay underwent surgery in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles) to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his lungs. [7] [29] Afterwards he became critically ill and was readmitted to Cedar Sinai, where he died on 13 August 2006, aged 73. [7] [27] He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.



1968Majuba: Heuwel van DuiweUncredited, South African Film
1969Petticoat SafariCo-Writer, South African Film
1970 Lied in my hart RudiSouth African Film
1970Scotty & Co.Ginger SidSouth African Film
1970 Sien Jou Môre Prof. Ivan Ullman(voiced by Danie Smuts)
South African Film
1970Taxi!Red KowalskiSouth African Film
1972My WayNatie KaplanSouth African Film
1972LeatherlipUncredited, South African Film
1975 Love and Death Vladimir Maximovich
1977My Way IINatie KaplanSouth Africa
1978 The Greek Tycoon Doctor
1981 Time Bandits The Supreme BeingVoice
1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind NarratorVoice, Disney 2005 dub
1987 Little Dorrit Doctor
1988 Twins Professor Werner & The Narrator
My Stepmother Is an Alien Council Chief
1989 Asterix and the Big Fight NarratorVoice, English version
1991 Beauty and the Beast Monsieur D'Arque Voice
Beasties FrankieDirect-to-video
1992 Tom and Jerry: The Movie Lickboot the LawyerVoice
1994 Thumbelina BullVoice, Uncredited
Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights Lord of the AmuletVoice, TV movie
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 ReginaldVoice
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Judge Claude Frollo Voice
Nominated — Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
1998 The Rugrats Movie Dr. Werner LipschitzVoice
An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island Mr. ToploftyVoice, Direct-to-video
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me NarratorVoice, Uncredited
2001 Recess: School's Out Dr. RosenthalVoice
Race to Space NarratorVoice
2002 Treasure Planet NarratorVoice
2003 The Jungle Book 2 Shere Khan, the TigerVoice
Rugrats Go Wild Dr. Werner LipschitzVoice
2007 Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation NarratorVoice, Posthumous release
2011SeekProducerShort, Posthumous release


1974 Fall of Eagles Tsar Alexander III 2 episodes
1974 Justice Mr. PapaloniosEpisode: "Collision Course"
1974The Case of Eliza ArmstrongHenry Poland QC1 episode
1975 Within These Walls Mr. GrahamEpisode: "Nowhere for the Kids"
1975 The Sweeney LambourneEpisode: "Golden Boy"
1975Affairs of the HeartSir Luke Strett1 episode
1975 The Hanged Man LazloEpisode: "Grail and Platter"
1975 Six Days of Justice Edwin LovattEpisode: "Angelica"
1977 The XYY Man Jacob Mahler2 episodes
1978 The Professionals Foreign Observer 1Episode: "Blind Run"
1980EscapeColonel JalboutEpisode: "Kim Philby"
1981 Timon of Athens MerchantTV movie
1982 Whoops Apocalypse BagatuEpisode: "How to Get Rid of It"
1982The Agatha Christie HourCount StreptitchEpisode: "Jane un search if a job"
1985 Dempsey and Makepeace Abe MoserEpisode: "Armed and Extremely Dangerous"
1986 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible Caiaphas, Jerusalem Man No. 3, God2 episodes
1987RivieraHabibTV movie
1987 The Golden Girls LaszloEpisode: "The Artist"
1987 Hunter Father MichaelsEpisode: "Allegra"
1988 Beverly Hills Buntz Sheik MohammedEpisode: "Buntz of the Desert"
1988CircusConrad SimpsonTV Pilot
1989 Mr. Belvedere Captain PeelEpisode: "Mutiny"
1988–1989 Beauty and the Beast Paracelcus6 episodes
1989 The Smurfs Voice, Uncredited
1989 The New Lassie Mr. ShepherdEpisode: "Once Upon a Time..."
1989 Newhart Reginald WoosterEpisode: "Good Lord Loudon"
1989The Easter StoryCaiaphas, Jerusalem Man #3Animated short
1990 Christine Cromwell Episode: "In Vino Veritas"
1990 His & Hers Dr. ZimmermanEpisode: "Fear of Marriage"
1990 Rainbow Drive Max HollisterTV Movie
1990 Peter Pan and the Pirates Alf MasonVoice, 16 episode
1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda Voice, Episode: "Pity the Poor Pirate"
1991 Matlock John Bosley HackettEpisode: "The Critic"
1990–1991 Twin Peaks Dougie Milford3 episodes
1990–1991 TaleSpin Mr. Shere KhanVoice, 11 episodes
1991 Absolute Strangers WeisfeldTV Movie
1991 Murphy Brown Dr. Wade BenoitEpisode: "Q & A on FYI"
1991 Eerie, Indiana Sir Boris von OrloffEpisode: "Scariest Home Videos"
1991 Dynasty: The Reunion Dr. Jobinet2 episodes
1991 Darkwing Duck Grim Reaper Voice, Episode: "Dead Duck"
1991 Who's the Boss? Paul MurphyEpisode: "Grandmommie Dearest"
1991 Sisters Charles Dickens Episode: "Eggnog"
1991 Adventures in Odyssey Fred J. FaustusVoice, Episode: "The Knight Travellers"
1992 Jonah Voice, 1 episode
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Third Minister CampioEpisode: "Cost of Living"
1992 Tom & Jerry Kids Voice, Episode: "Penthouse Mouse/12 Angry Sheep/The Ant Attack"
1991–1993 The Legend of Prince Valiant Cynan, Baron Alric, MagistrateVoice, 5 episode
1993 Sonic the Hedgehog GuardianVoice, Uncredited, Episode: "Super Sonic"
1993 The Little Mermaid Wish StarVoice, Episode: "Wish Upon a Starfish"
1993Fugitive Nights: Danger in the DesertTV Movie
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Judge Silot GattEpisode: "Brisco for the Defense"
1993Fugitive Nights: Danger in the DesertTV movie
1993 2 Stupid Dogs The ChiefVoice, 13 episodes
1993–1994 Mighty Max Virgil/Narrator, Norman's Dad, Witch DoctorVoice, 40 episodes
1993–1995 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Nigel St. John7 episodes
1994 Picket Fences Chief RabbiEpisode: "Squatter's Rights"
1994 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Voice, Episode: "Ride the High School"
1994 Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights Voice, TV movie
1994 Beethoven WatsonVoice, Episode: "Scent of a Mutt/Down on the Farm"
1994–1995 Skeleton Warriors Golden SkullVoice, 13 episodes
1994-2001 ReBoot MegabyteVoice, 26 episodes
1995 Aladdin KhartoumVoice, Episode: "The Book of Khartoum"
1995 Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Frederick, ChiefVoice, Episode: "Eau de Krumm/O'Lucky Monster"
1994–1995 Fantastic Four Galactus / Terrax / Nauseated Man on TVVoice, 5 episodes
1995 Gargoyles Anubis Voice, Episode: "Grief"
1995–1996 The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Peeping Duck, Jaggo Doughnut, Mr.Wizard3 episodes
1996Russia's Last TsarVoice, National Geographic special
1996 Siegfried & Roy: Masters of the Impossible Voice
1996 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Yeti Voice, Episode: "Twelve Angry Animals"
1996 Animaniacs NarratorVoice, Episode: "Dot's Entertainment/The Girl with the Googily Goop/Gunga Dot"
1996 Superman: The Animated Series – The Last Son of Krypton Sul-VanVoice, TV Movie
1996 The Burning Zone The ChairmanEpisode: "The Silent Tower"
1996 Bruno the Kid JarlesburgVoice, Episode: "The Adventure Begins"
1994–1996 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lord Dregg Voice, 17 episodes
1994–1996 The Tick Chairface Chippendale Voice, 7 episodes
1996 Spider-Man Baron Mordo Voice, 3 episodes
1995–1996 The Savage Dragon Overlord Voice, 15 episodes
1996The Making of Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Himself, Voice of Claude Frollo
1996 Pinky and the Brain Egyptian PriestVoice, Episode: "The Mummy/Robin Brain"
1996–1999 Jumanji The Master of JumanjiVoice
1997Puss in BootsNarratorVoice, TV movie
1996–1997 Mighty Ducks WraithVoice, 21 episodes
1997 Adventures from the Book of Virtues King DariusVoice, Episode: "Faith "
1997 [30] Doomsday: What Can We Do?NarratorVoice, TV documentary
1997 Extreme Ghostbusters MaiikrobVoice, Episode: "Moby Ghost"
1997What If?NarratorVoice, TV documentary
1998Hollywood & VinylHimself1 episode
1998 Recess King Arthur, Fence, St. PeterVoice, Episode: "The Lost Ball"
1998 Invasion America The DragitVoice, 13 episodes
1999Civil War Combat: America's Bloodiest BattlesNarratorVoice, TV documentary, 2 episodes
1996–1999 Timon & Pumbaa Empress's Assistant, Jungle InspectorVoice, 2 episodes
1999 To Serve and Protect Police Pathologist
1999 Mickey Mouse Works OstrichVoice, Episode #1.6
1999–2000 Johnny Bravo King Brad, AnnouncerVoice, 2 episodes
2000UFOs: Then and Now?NarratorVoice, TV Movie
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Dr. AnimusVoice, 2 episodes
2000 The New Woody Woodpecker Show Günther's GuardianVoice, Episode: "Be A Sport"
2001 Lloyd in Space Dr. Werner Von BrainVoice, Episode: "Caution: Wormhole!"
2001 Providence UnnamedEpisode: "Rule Number One"
2001 The Legend of Tarzan PoacherVoice, Episode: "Tarzan and the Rift"
2001MegabyteVoice, TV movie
2001The Gene PoolRenfeldTV movie
2001–2002 House of Mouse Magic Mirror, Shere Khan the Tiger, OstrichVoice, 10 episodes
1992–2003 Rugrats Dr. Werner Lipschitz, Doctor, Rich Man, Wombat President, Narrator, Manager, Man with Car, Max, Dream Santa, Barney, Scientist #2, GeneralVoice, 10 episodes
2003Criss Angel: SupernaturalNarrator, voice – official trailerVoice, TV movie
2003 Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids SpiderusVoice, TV movie
2003Civil War Combat: Culp's Hill at GettysburgNarratorVoice, Documentary
2003Civil War Combat: The Battle of ChickamaugaNarratorVoice, Documentary
2003Nostradamus: 500 Years LaterNostradamusVoice, Documentary
2004 UFO Files – UFOs: Then and Now? The Innocent Years NarratorVoice, 1 episode
2004 Teen Titans NarratorVoice, Episode: "Transformation"
2004Tom and Jerry – The Ultimate Classic CollectionUnknown
1996–2004 Hey Arnold! Rex Smythe-Higgins, Voice in the Sky, DoctorVoice, 5 episodes
2005Mickey's Around the World in 80 DaysOstrich
2005Science of the Bible: Jesus, The PreacherHimself, narratorVoice, 1 episode
2005 H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer NarratorVoice
2006 Me, Eloise VoiceEpisode: "Eloise in Springtime Part 1"
2007 Xyber 9: New Dawn MachestroVoice, 7 episodes
2004–2007 Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends SpiderusVoice, 17 episodes
Nominated—Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in a Feature Film
2007The History Channel Presents: The Civil WarNarratorVoice

Video games

1992 King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow Captain Saladin, Gate, Arch DruidVoice
1996 Disney's Animated Storybook: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Judge Claude FrolloVoice
1996 Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Mortanius, William the Just, Dark EntityVoice
1997 Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans Drek'TharVoice
1997 Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game The LieutenantVoice
1998 Reboot MegabyteVoice
1998Titanic ExplorerCapt. Smith, Sir Rufus IsaacsVoice
1998 Die by the Sword Rastegar, GrubVoice
1999 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Elder God, ZephonVoice
1999 Planescape: Torment The Transcendent OneVoice
1999 Y2K: The Game Mister LeopardVoice
2000 Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale KresselackVoice
2000 Sacrifice MithrasVoice
2001 The Jungle Book: Rhythm 'n Groove Shere Khan the TigerVoice
2001Dopey's Wild Mine RideMagic MirrorVoice
2001 Soul Reaver 2 Elder GodVoice
2001 Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate – Dark Alliance Xantam The Beholder, EthonVoice
2001 Return to Castle Wolfenstein The DirectorVoice, Uncredited
2001 Star Trek: Armada II USS Caddebostan CaptainVoice
2002 Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm NarratorVoice, Uncredited
2002 Hunter: The Reckoning NarratorVoice
2003 Freelancer Chancellor Florian Gustov NiemannVoice
2003 Star Trek: Elite Force II ArcheopendaVoice
2003 Lionheart Voice
2003 Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader Voice
2003 Armed & Dangerous KingVoice
2003 Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter Leader of the RangersVoice
2003 Legacy of Kain: Defiance Elder GodVoice
2004 Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Attis, narratorVoice
2004 Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest InnorrukVoice
2004 Galleon Areliano, narratorVoice
2004 X-Men Legends MagnetoVoice
2004 The Bard's Tale NarratorVoice [31]

Audiobooks and audio plays


Audio plays:

Radio serials:





Video Games


Annie Awards [33]
2006Voice Acting in a Television Production [34] Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program [35] Nominated

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  25. Gross, Edward (November 1989). "To Reign in Hell". Starlog. p. 72. Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  26. "Sir Ian McKellen". Crawley's Casting Calls. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  27. 1 2 3 4 Rouner, Jeff. "Tony Jay: Playlist for the Ultimate Voice-Over Villain". Houston Press. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  28. "Poets on Broadway – Earphones Award Winner". Audio File. AudioFile Magazine. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  29. "Daytime Emmy nominated Tony Jay Loses Fight to Recover". Archived from the original on 7 September 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  30. Various release dates are given: 1996 ; 1997 ; 1998 .
  31. InXile Entertainment. The Bard’s Tale. InXile Entertainment. Scene: Ending credits, 2:10:10 in, Voice Talent.
  32. "LBC – Ten years on". British Universities Film & Video Council. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  33. The official Annie Awards website shows that Tony Jay was not nominated in 1996 for Voice Acting in the Field of Animation, despite many claims that he had. The 1996 nominees were Nancy Cartwright (winner), Jeff Bennett, Jim Cummings, Tress MacNeille, and Rob Paulsen..
  34. "33rd Annie Awards (2006)". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  35. "The National Television Academy Announces 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations". Retrieved 2 November 2017.