Voiceover Legend Tom Kane on Landing His First Job at 15 and Becoming the Voice of Yoda

Our chat with the 2021 Clio Entertainment honorary award winner

Tom Kane started doing voiceover work at age 15. By 24, he had recorded hundreds of commercials and was regularly landing national TV spots. His tremendous vocal range led to a storied career in the entertainment industry.

Notable credits include voicing Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Admiral Yularen and other characters for The Last Jedi, Rogue One, The Force Awakens and Solo. His character work can be heard in The Avengers, Archer, Family Guy, The Powerpuff Girls, Wolverine and the X-Men, Scooby Doo, Shrek, Robot Chicken, Kim Possible, Foster's Home, Iron Man, The Wild Thornberrys and dozens of other animated series. In the Disney Parks, he's the voice of the Monorail, a dozen rides and attractions, and is the narrator of Galactic Nights and the Grand Finale Spectacular that closes all Disney Parks every night.

Tom is in almost all the Star Wars and Call of Duty games, plus Fortnite, Star Trek, Final Fantasy, X-Men, Batman, Avengers, Lord of the Rings and many more. Tom was also an expert in voice-doubling. When talent wasn't available for post-production, testing or trailer recording, Tom filled in for actors such as Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Liam Neeson and others. He has also been honored to announce five Academy Awards broadcasts on ABC: The 78th, 80th, 83rd, and 84th, and was the opening announcer for the 90th.

We spoke with Tom ahead of the 2021 Clio Entertainment Awards, where he'll receive an honorary award at the 50th anniversary celebration on Dec. 14 at the Sunset Room in Hollywood.

Tom, tell us...

Where you grew up and where you live now.

I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and have come full circle and currently reside there.

Your first job in the industry.

I once heard a radio spot for the American Heart Association that was so bad, I called them up to let them know. I told them the voiceover was terrible, and they asked if I could do better. They actually ended up auditioning me over the phone and hiring me on spot. They didn't even realize I was only 15 until I walked into the voiceover booth.

A breakthrough moment in your career.

Finally getting an L.A. agent after months of searching.

Three movies you couldn't do without.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
I'm a huge sci-fi nerd.

Your favorite movie quote.

"May the force be with you."

Your favorite movie trailer or poster.

The teaser for 1974's It's Alive.

It's Alive (1974) | Trailer
A classic TV show and a recent TV show that you loved.

Star Trek and The Walking Dead.

A project from your career that you are proud of.

Nothing means more to me than growing up with Star Wars and then becoming the voice of Yoda.

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

I've always admired Tom Kenny's range in animation.

How you're spending your time these days.

Spending time with my family and going to occupational and speech therapy.

Advice for those looking to build a career in entertainment marketing.

Get used to sitting in L.A. traffic.

Backstory is a weekly Muse series, publishing on Fridays, where we chat with folks in entertainment marketing about their creative inspirations, favorite movies, video games, trailers, posters and more. To learn more about Backstory or our Clio Entertainment program, please get in touch.

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