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Animation and Anime

Peter Fernandez, Voice of Speed Racer, Passes Away

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green
Peter Fernandez, the voice of Speed Racer and one of the pioneer in bringing international animation to North America, has passed away of lung cancer at age 83. Fernandez also co-wrote the scripts and directed the voice work in classic 1967 animated series. He voiced roles in other classics such as Star Blazers and the title character in one of the first anime to be released in North America, Alakazam the Great. Fernandez remained active in animation, voice directing Courage the Cowardly Dog and Kenny the Shark in recent years. Patrick Macias on Fernandez's localization work. Thanks to William Winckler Productions for alerting us about this sad passing.
Readers Talkback
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  • July 15, 2010, 1 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    RIP Mr Fernandez. And Marlboro loses another customer...

  • July 15, 2010, 1:03 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by A G

    Least he lived till 83.

  • July 15, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST

    RIP Speed Racer

    by LaserPants

  • July 15, 2010, 1:23 p.m. CST

    He'll Be Missed..

    by BlackBriar

  • July 15, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by Dingbatty

  • July 15, 2010, 1:39 p.m. CST

    That man could read lines a mile a minute

    by JT Kirk

    Trying to lip-sync the new dialogue to the movements of the Japanese animation had to have been exhausting, but he was determined to make it work in voice after voice after voice. His work on Speed's voice particularly was the perfect blend of elements for the character and I will never forget his contribution to our pop culture.

  • July 15, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    EVERYBODY DISCO DANCING!!!

    by Six Demon Bag

  • July 15, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    by JoeD

    Well done sir.

  • July 15, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    WHOS DRIVING?

    by Six Demon Bag

  • July 15, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    BEARS DRIVING! HOW CAN THAT BE??

    by Six Demon Bag

  • July 15, 2010, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Go Speed Racer, Go...

    by Billyeveryteen

    And Godspeed.

  • July 15, 2010, 2:01 p.m. CST

    RIP Speed Racer, RIP Speed Racer, RiP..

    by Stalkeye

    ..Speed Racer RIIIPPP! God bless you Pete and thanks for your contributions to Anime.

  • July 15, 2010, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Yea coz SCOTT PILGRIM is as butch as Predator

    by BadlyDubbedPorn

    RIP

  • July 15, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST

    I was the voice of Speed Racer...

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...on the animated TV show Speed Racer from Japan. I played the voice of Speed Racer, the star of the show Speed Racer who was a racer who raced cars at high speeds and that's why he was called Speed Racer. But now I am dead. I am no longer living and so I cannot provide the voice of Speed Racer any longer because I am now dead.

  • July 15, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST

    You're never over

    by Orionsangels

    The days are cold livin’ without you. The nights are long, I’m growing older. I miss the days of old, thinkin’ about you. You may be gone, but you’re never over.

  • July 15, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    aw shucks, RIP

    by The_Crimson_King

    Peter Fernandez helped bring anime to America, I still remember watching the original Speed Racer on Cartoon Network when that channel was new

  • July 15, 2010, 3:06 p.m. CST

    RIP old friend thanks for making my childhood a great place

    by Professor_Monster

    This is truly sad - Peter was awesome! An innocent time and a true gentleman. Sleep well dear dear sir

  • July 15, 2010, 3:16 p.m. CST

    The Man Was An Unsung Genius!!!

    by Media Messiah

    He will be missed. They should have approached him to write the script for the live action movie, and asked him to closely consult on it, and provide voice over-dubs, instead, they gave him some useless, and brief, cameo?<BR><BR>This gentleman was largely an ignored genius who rewrote much of Speed Racer, even renaming the characters for the American version, and along with a friend, came-up with the great theme music and lyrics. He helped to make Speed Racer, a classic, one that the Wachowski Brothers were allowed to nearly destroy.

  • July 15, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer Has Passed Away

    by Media Messiah

    God Bless, we will miss you!!!!

  • July 15, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Wow, He Did Voice Roles On Star Blazers???

    by Media Messiah

    That was the coolest show!!! Originally called, Space Battleship Yamato...the movie, which led to the TV series in Japan, is what inspired much of the look, and themes, of Star Wars, and yes, it pre-dated Star Wars by years.

  • July 15, 2010, 3:52 p.m. CST

    SHUWATCH!!!!!!

    by Speed Fricassee

    R.I.P. from a lifelong fan.

  • July 15, 2010, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Now that...

    by spohlso

    ...is a bummer. He will be missed.

  • July 15, 2010, 5:02 p.m. CST

    This is a punch in the gut

    by gun_will_travel

    Speed Racer has long been my favorite cartoon, and I am glad to say it is also the favorite of my two-year-old son. God bless you, Peter Fernandez, for bringing a lot of TV joy to two generations of fans.

  • July 15, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    And when the odds are against him...

    by punchydugan

    and there is dangerous work to do. You bet your life Speed Racer, will see it through. Well you came through for a lot of us sir. Rest well.

  • July 15, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST

    It was really nice seeing him in the movie, as well.

    by Darkman

    Very classy on the part of the Wachowskis. <br><br> He will be missed.

  • July 15, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Legendary

    by Quasimike

    Peter Fernandez helped change my life. I was born in 1960, and as a child I discovered Japanese animation through shows like Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Kimba the White Lion, Marine Boy and The Amazing 3 to name but a few. I know of Peter primarily through Speed, Kimba and Alakazam the Great. Of course, I didn't know who he was or what he did until I became an adult and started researching the shows for my own edification. What an amazing career he had, and what a truly remarkable job he did bringing the shows he worked on to American audiences. It wasn't easy, but the end results were phenomenal, as is evidenced by how fondly these shows are recalled all these years later. I was especially thrilled that he was featured in the Speed Racer film (along with Corrine Orr, who voiced Trixie in the original series) a few years ago. It was a classy thing for the Wachowski brothers to do, and I'm sure it must have been a thrill for Peter to be involved, and to see just how far Speed had come. I only hope that his work will continue to live on for many years to come, and that it will continue to thrill new generations of fans of Japanese Animation.

  • July 15, 2010, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Oh no I really think he should rest in peace eeeh

    by ricarleite2

  • July 15, 2010, 8:28 p.m. CST

    RIP....

    by MJs_Cold_Dead_Pale_Corpse

    He finally watched the Wachowski brothers Speed Racer...and just gave up.

  • July 15, 2010, 8:33 p.m. CST

    one of my fav...

    by MJs_Cold_Dead_Pale_Corpse

    cartoon intros ever

  • July 15, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Don't forget his work on Ultraman!

    by Gojira_X

  • July 15, 2010, 10:21 p.m. CST

    when they lower his casket

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    i hope it makes that Mach-5 CHA-CHA-CHA-CHAAAA jumping sound.<p> seriously, that would be awesome.

  • July 15, 2010, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Didn't he do Kimba the White Lion too?

    by planetran_fan

  • July 15, 2010, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer lost his ride to Danica Patrick

    by Wirraway

  • July 16, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST

    He did voice direction on Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers too

    by MediaGold

    I love that show. I remember he also sold phone interviews on eBay. I never had the nerve to buy one.

  • July 16, 2010, 4:08 a.m. CST

    No!

    by GroolDemon

    Speedracer NOOOOOOOOO!!! You will be missed. Hope you get to drive the Mach 5 in heaven.

  • July 16, 2010, 8:04 a.m. CST

    So long

    by Kentucky Colonel

    and don't forget to write!

  • July 16, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Good Memory of Fernandez...

    by Prof_Ender

    ...my dad owned a photo store in Pomona, NY. Mr. Fernandez was one of the customers; my dad didn't know who he was. I did. I never got a chance to meet him, but my dad told him that his son used to watch "Speed Racer" and remembered the name. The next day, Mr. Fernandez came into the store and gave my dad an autographed picture of the "Speed Racer" crew with my family's name on it. He was a good man.

  • July 16, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    :(

    by Anna Valerious

    At least he got to appear in the live-action version. (He was a race announcer.)

  • July 16, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Nope, not Kimba

    by jeffh4

    According to IMDB, Kimba the White Lion is one of the few early anime shows Peter was not involved with. The original Speed has a special place in my son's heart, just like it does in mine. I hope future generations enjoy Peter's work for years to come.

  • July 16, 2010, 2:11 p.m. CST

    I think everyone can imagine that quick talk affect in Speed's v

    by planetran_fan

    Very distinctive and memorable.

  • July 16, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Dubbed many classic GODZILLA films...

    by Max Meanie

    ...as part of Titra Studios he supervised many of the classic Godzilla films including DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, MONSTER ZERO, GODZILLA VS THE SEA MONSTER & others. Anywhere you hear Hal Linden (of Barney Miller fame) in a G film, that's a Titra/Fernandez production. A sad day.

  • July 16, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Also did voicework for Marvel book & record sets

    by Triple_J_72

    I remember hearing his voice as Spider-Man & The Human Torch on "Power Records" from the 70's. Years later, when I saw the old Speed Racer cartoon for the first time, I recognized his voice immediately. <p> R.I.P.

  • July 17, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST

    I POSTED THIS LIKE 10 TIMES

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    BEFORE YOU WERE "ALERTED"

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