Famous Actors Who Didn’t Get to Use Their Own Voice

In the film industry, things don’t always go as planned. An actor or actress may have the perfect look for a role but due to other circumstances such as language barriers, heavy accents or sometimes even death, someone else needs to step in and lend their voice, quite literally too. Here are a couple of actors who, to their disappointment, didn’t get to use their own voice.

1. Debbie Reynolds

In 1952, 19-year-old Debbie Reynolds made her on-screen debut in the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” in which she played Kathy Selden, an actress who dubbed the dialogue and singing of the lead actress. But in a twist of irony, Reynolds had to be dubbed not once but twice for both her singing and dialogue due to her thin and youthful voice. The studio wanted a deeper, richer vocal delivery, so they had singer Betty Noyes sing the number “Would You?” This, however, did not stop the film from becoming one of the greatest of its time.

2. Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson’ career has had its highs and lows, but there’s no doubt that he’s a talented actor and filmmaker. His breakout role came when he starred as Max Rockatansky in Mad Max, which really jump started career. However, the heavy use of Aussie slang proved to be too confusing to American audiences and as a result, the entire film had to be redubbed with American voice actors. Ironic, considering the fact that Gibson is an American citizen who moved to Australia at the age of 12. So he was more than familiar with the American accent.

3. Andie MacDowell

Andie MacDowell started off as a covergirl for Vogue magazine and a model for Calvin Klein in 1984. That same year, she made her acting debut in the film Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes as Jane Porter, Tarzan’s love interest. Director Hugh Hudson didn’t care much for MacDowell’s native Southern accent, so he turned to Glenn Close to dub her lines. A bit of an ego blow, but MacDowell didn’t let this slow her down. She went on to star in many successful movies including Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

4. Gert Fröbe

The third installment of the James Bond franchise, Goldfinger, featured the iconic villain Auric Goldfinger who was played by German film and stage actor Gert Fröbe, who won producers over… sort of. You see, Fröbe wasn’t a fluent English speaker so British actor Michael Collins had to take over the voice work. So the villain’s memorable line “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” is actually Collins’ doing. This decision was absolutely worth it, considering that Goldfinger is regarded as one of the greatest Bond films ever made.

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career had a bit of a bumpy start. He initially went by the stage name “Arnold Strong” worrying that people would have a hard time pronouncing his surname. In 1970, he was cast as the titular character in the film “Hercules in New York” most likely due to his impressive physique. But due to his thick Austrian accent, Schwarzenegger’s lines had to be dubbed, and it wasn’t even done by an acclaimed actor. Instead it was done by a random, uncredited voice. The results were rather comical, but this only served as a stepping stone in his acting career.


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