Bill Cunningham Dead: Original Ken Doll Voice Actor Dies at 96


Share post:

Bill Cunningham
Courtesy of CESD Talent Agency/Instagram

Bill Cunningham — the original voice of the Ken doll — has died at age 96.

Cunningham, who founded CESD Talent Agency, passed away at his home in West Hollywood on July 15, the agency told Deadline in an article published on Wednesday, July 26.

Cunningham’s death came six days before the July 21 premiere of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, which reinvigorated the world’s obsession with the iconic doll — and all of her friends — and once again brought the toys to the forefront of pop culture.

Cunningham provided Ken’s voice in the early 1960s, including on the 1961 album Barbie Sings!, which boasted the tagline: “6 terrific teen-age tunes sung by Barbie and Ken.”

On one track, Cunningham-as-Ken sings: “Barbie, you’re beautiful / You’re just my style / I fall in love each time we meet / Barbie, you’re so lovable / With just one smile / You simply sweep me off my feet.”

While Cunningham crooned to Barbie on her early ‘60s record, it was Ryan Gosling who provided the voice — and face — of Barbie’s boyfriend in the Barbie movie, singing fan favorite songs like “Just Ken” and Matchbox 20’s “Push.”

“He has a beautiful voice, and he’s a beautiful dancer. We got there organically,” Gerwig, 39, told Rolling Stone in an interview published on Wednesday, July 25, of how she managed to convince Gosling, 42, to sing for the role. “I think if I had said, ‘I want you to sing and dance in this movie,’ he would not have necessarily done that for me. But it was kind of that thing of boiling a lobster. I think by the time he was singing and dancing, he didn’t even totally know how we had gotten there. But he’s so fabulous at it.”

Though Cunningham’s name wasn’t on the list of inspirations for Gosling’s version of Ken, Gerwig shared a number of iconic actors when telling the outlet of Gosling’s portrayal, calling it “some combination of Marlon Brando meets Gene Wilder meets John Barrymore meets John Travolta.”

Original Ken Doll Voice Actor Bill Cunningham Dead at 96

The original Ken doll.
Courtesy of Mattel/MEGA

While Cunningham’s past turn as Ken has made headlines due to the release of the movie, the singer — who went on tour with Judy Garland, per Deadline, and released albums of his own — was more well-known for his work as the founder of CESD, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious talent agencies for voiceover work.

“Bill Cunningham opened Pacific Artist Agency Hollywood in 1963, following a prolific singing career and at the encouragement of his friend, singer and TV personality Peggy Taylor,” CESD said in a statement via Instagram on Wednesday. “In 1967, Pacific Artists became Cunningham & Associates.The company’s agency’s success led him to open a second office in New York during 1971. In just a few short years, Cunningham & Associates, now known as CESD, became the most successful, bicoastal commercial/VO talent agency in the business.”

In 2014, Cunningham released his memoir, I Wonder What Became of Me.

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

This Rain Jacket Looks Like It’s From an Iconic Designer Brand — Under $50

Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. It’s...

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner ‘On Speaking Terms’ (Source)

Kevin Costner and ex-wife Christine Baumgartner are taking the high road after settling their tumultuous divorce.  “They are...

Rachel Bilson Recalls Flirting With Justin Timberlake at a Party

Justin Timberlake was tearin’ up Rachel Bilson’s heart in the early 2000s.  The O.C. alum, 42, revealed during...

Below Deck's Captain Sandy Removes Bosun Ruan Irving for Forged Documents

Captain Sandy Yawn and Ruan Irving Fred Jagueneau/Bravo; Laurent Basset/Bravo Captain Sandy‘s first charter during season 8...

Brian Austin Green and Blac Chyna Spark Unlikely Feud on 'Special Forces'

Brian Austin Green and Blac Chyna Pete Dadds/Fox (2) Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test is back for...

Travis Kelce Jersey Sales Spike After Taylor Swift Attends Chiefs Game

Travis Kelce. Leon Bennett/Getty Images Travis Kelce jersey sales seemed to swiftly rise after Taylor Swift attended...

17 Fall Fashion Pieces With Trending Old Money Vibes — Starting at Just $34!

Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. We’re...

Every NFL Star and Celeb Invested in Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

Hollywood and the entire NFL are in need of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce friendship bracelets. Ever since...