Here’s the amazing Black voice actor behind your favorite video games

Ama Nunoo Sep 18, 2020 at 11:59am

September 18, 2020 at 11:59 am | Success Story

Ama Nunoo

Ama Nunoo | Staff Writer

September 18, 2020 at 11:59 am | Success Story

Dave Fennoy (L), the voice behind the lead character in The Walking Dead game, Lee Everett(R), Photo: Dave Fennoy/Walking Dead wiki

Do you have a subscription to the video streaming platform Hulu? Then you probably know the voice of Dave Fennoy, the award-winning voice over actor who is described as the man behind 123 voices. His soothing voice is heard on the platform by users, but many do not know the man behind the voice.

He was born in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1952 and has been a voice over actor for thirty years. He started off as a child actor at the Karamu House in Cleveland after his family moved there. Little did he know that his voice will be what will propel him to fame.

Fennoy has always loved the performing arts. In high school, he was the theatre president then went on to college as a theatre major at Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota. He dropped out of college for a while and went touring as a professional musician before returning to college to graduate with a jazz degree and guitar minor at Howard University.

The musician turned radio personality discovered Voice Over (VO) in San Francisco. He was on the job as a copywriter and continuity director when the station’s DJ mentioned VO. At the time, the DJ felt doing VO was more lucrative than being on air.

It was at that instant that “a light went on and never went off” in his head. It took Fennoy about eight years before he took it more seriously. It was not easy getting a hang of talking for different characters, but he had the drive for it and took a two-day voice over workshop.

Prior to that, he had stints doing “voice over work on TV 2o and on a telephonic entertainment company called Megaphone and doing the Prince and Michael Jackson Hotlines,” he said in an interview with Mandy.com.  

Fennoy was fired from the radio station in 1990, and his life-altering moment came when he moved to Los Angeles three months after meeting an agent Leigh Gilbert. One of Fennoy’s first gigs was the voice of RoboCop in a telephonic RoboCop game.

He is one of the most versatile and distinguished voices in the industry as he has lent his voice to different narrations, promos, award shows, commercials, animations, and games.

“I am also the voice of Louisiana Seafood, the promo voice for NY1’s Soul’s Survivors and a voice on more than 40 games including StarCraft 2, WarCraft, DOTA, Mass Effect, Transformers 3, Ultimate Spiderman, and I play the lead character on the recent game hit ‘THE WALKING DEAD’.”

According to Fennoy, voice over actors must audition for their roles like most jobs and one of his biggest roles to date came about when he auditioned for the lead role Lee Everett in The Walking Dead game for  Telltale games after an employee recommended him for the role.

The seasoned voice actor has received six nominations for the best voice in a video game, with 2 wins, and has worked with a host of clients over the years.

According to his website, his clientele includes, “ABC, The WB, Fox, CBS, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, The Disney Channel and TV One as promo clients. He has done narrations for National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Science Channel’s popular series, ‘When Earth Erupts’.”

Fennoy’s portfolio is huge. He has worked on campaigns for “Lexus, McDonalds, Corona Beer, KFC, Toyota, Chrysler, and ATT, Time Life Music R&B/Gospel and Southern Company.”

The film voices include Ghost Rider, Happy Feet, and King’s Ransom, and he has proved a cartoon favorite in such series as The LeBrons, Kim Possible, Ben 10, Darkwing Duck, New Kids on the Block, Pro Stars, Johnny Quest and Sonic the Hedgehog.

For the last fifteen years, Fennoy has been the show voice for the NAACP Image Awards. He has worked with other awards like The Billboard Music Awards, The Teen Choice Awards and the TV shows Late Night with Gregg Kinnear and Cedric the Entertainer Presents.

In a book by Joan Baker, “Secrets of Voiceover Success” Fennoy was featured among other seasoned VOs on how to break into the industry.

There is a whisper room in his house where he works and his advice for people with an interest in voice over acting is to get adequate training and most importantly, relax and enjoy the ride.  

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