Michael Bell (actor)

Michael Bell is an American actor, voice actor, voice director and animal-rights activist[1] who is most active in voice over roles, known for his youthful voice. He has acted in video games and animated series, including The Transformers, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, The Houndcats, Rugrats, The Smurfs, and Snorks and appeared on-screen in film and television, including the TV programs Dallas and Star Trek. Bell was described as being "one of the most prominent voice actors of the 1980s." Both Bell's wife, Victoria Carroll, and his daughter, Ashley Bell, are actresses.

Michael Bell
Michael Bell 2015.jpg
Bell at the 2015 Retro Con
Occupation
  • Actor
  • voice actor
  • voice director
  • animals-rights activist
Years active1956–present
AgentAVO Talent
Spouse(s)
(m. 1984)
ChildrenAshley Bell
Websitewww.michaelbellvoices.com

Early lifeEdit

Michael Bell was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family.[2]

CareerEdit

1970s and 1980s voice workEdit

Bell had an important part in animated entertainment in the 1970s and 1980s. His first voice role was that of Stutz, the leader of The Houndcats. He followed this with a co-starring role in the Canadian biker film "The Proud Rider" in 1971.[3] In 1973, he was Mark on the Hanna-Barbera series Speed Buggy. He voiced Redbeard the Pirate's Ghost in The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Ghostly Creep from the Deep" as the second Redbeard themed monster in Scooby-Doo. From 1977 to 1984, Michael Bell played two of his best-known roles, Zan and Gleek on various Super Friends incarnations. He would also voice The Riddler on Challenge of the Super Friends. He also provided the voice of Lex Luthor as a young man, in the episode "History of Doom". However, Stan Jones was the voice of the adult Luthor throughout the series. It's interesting to note that Bell later played Luthor in the 1988 Superman series.

He was also Doctor Ben Cooper in Jana of the Jungle and in 1979, he voiced the title character of The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and later made a guest appearance as Doctor Octopus in another superhero show, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.

Outside of animation, Bell performed on records and commercials, including the Young Man in A&M Records' Story of Halloween Horror album in 1977, and Parkay Margarine and Mug Root Beer ads. Bell provided the overdubbing of Peter Criss' dialogue in the band KISS's TV movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. In 1980, he provided the voice of the title character in The B.B. Beegle Show, an unsold TV show pilot that featured puppets.

Throughout the 1980s, Michael Bell starred in four hit animated series;

He also starred in the 1982 animated series The Incredible Hulk. The Hulk was voiced by Bob Holt, while his human side, Bruce Banner, was played by Bell. In a 2004 interview, he joked about how Bob Holt would be annoyed that he was growling his throat out while Bell got the easier stuff.[4]

During this time, the actor also played Hiro Taka on Spiral Zone and Allstar Seaworthy on The Snorks (1984-1989)

Later voice workEdit

Bell continues to work in animation in the 1990s and into the 21st century in movies and television, with roles such as Quackerjack from Disney's Darkwing Duck, Aziz on Aladdin and Ezekiel Rage on The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. He was also featured as Opus in the Bloom County television special A Wish for Wings That Work.

From 1991 to 2004, in the Rugrats and All Grown Up!, he voiced three of the main characters' parents; Drew Pickles, Charles Finster Sr., and Boris Kropotkin.

Bell did the voices of Drake on W.I.T.C.H., Max Hauser, Duke's Dad on G.I. Joe: Renegades, Willy Wachowski on Handy Manny and additional roles in Tangled (2010).

In 2018, Bell reprised his role as Quackerjack on the reboot of DuckTales.

Video game voice workEdit

He is also a prolific voice in video games, which include Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Age Of Empires III, Baldur's Gate, Ratchet & Clank, the character Dark Fact in the game Ys I & II, and the character Raziel in three games in the Legacy of Kain series, among many others.

Live-action rolesEdit

His live action film career has included roles in films such as Thunder Alley (1967), Blue (1968), Brother John (1971), Rollercoaster (1977), Fast Company (1979), How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980) and C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989). Bell also appeared in live-action exploitation shorts and PSAs - scare films made in California during the early 1960s, ranging in content from venereal disease (Damaged Goods) to psychedelic drug abuse (Trip To Where).

He made guest appearances in multiple episodes of the Star Trek series. He also appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation pilot episode, "Encounter at Farpoint", as Bandi administrator Groppler Zorn, and in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "The Homecoming" as a Bajoran and in "The Maquis."

Bell appeared in multiple episodes of Dallas as Les Crowley during the 1980-81 season, in M*A*S*H in the episode "Souvenirs" as Willie Stratton and also guest starred in two episodes of Three's Company as Rama Mageesh and Michael, a sleazy dance instructor in the sixth-season episode "Some Of That Jazz" (1981). Bell played Bill Duncan, Sabrina (Kate Jackson)'s ex-husband on Charlie's Angels, as well as appearing as King Edward Spencer on Jackson's series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. In 1970, he appeared in an episode of The Silent Force.

Documentary narrationEdit

He narrated the documentary programs Earth's Fury (also known as Anatomy of Disaster internationally), Expeditions to the Edge, Bullet Catchers and 'Mysteries of Asia, while he narrated some episodes of E! True Hollywood Story.

Stage rolesEdit

In 1983, he and his future wife Victoria Carroll opened The West End Playhouse in Van Nuys. The two of them organized, wrote, directed, and acted in dozens of productions.

One of the most notable was The Ladies of the Camillias in which Bell played the villain Ivan and Victoria starred as Madame Sarah Bernhardt. The play won multiple Drama Logue Awards.[5]

He served as the theater's director until 1988, when by mutual agreement to devote more time to their child, Bell and Carroll sold the theater to Edmund Gaynes and Pamela Hall.[6]

Voice directorEdit

Bell was the voice director for Kidd Video, Peter Pan and the Pirates, as well as the web series The LeBrons.

Union activismEdit

On March 30, 2012 the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) completed a merger of equals forming a new union SAG-AFTRA. As a result of this merger, a group of actors including Bell, fellow voice actors Wendy Schaal, Clancy Brown, Schaal's former stepmother Valerie Harper, and other actors including former SAG President Edward Asner, Martin Sheen, Ed Harris and Nancy Sinatra immediately sued against the current SAG President Ken Howard and several SAG Vice Presidents to overturn the merger and separate the (now merged) two unions because of their claims that the election was improper.[7] The lawsuit was dropped by the plaintiffs several months later.[8]

InventorEdit

In 1991, he and his colleague Melanie Chartoff conceived the Grayway Rotating Drain, a graywater recycling device for reuse of shower and sink water in the home. The following year, they finished and patented the product with the help of Ronald K. Ford.[9][10][11][12][13]

Personal lifeEdit

Bell has been married to actress Victoria Carroll since 1984.[14] Together they have a daughter, Ashley Bell who is also an actress.[15] He is an animal rights activist. He is the godfather of actor Steve Guttenberg, who cites Bell as his inspiration to become an actor.

Bell served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Local of SAG-AFTRA in 2016 until 2019.[16]

FilmographyEdit

Live–actionEdit

Year Title Role Notes References
1965 Gomer Pyle: USMC Garson Episode: "PFC Gomer Pyle"
1967 Thunder Alley Leroy Johnson
The Monkees Artist Episode: "Art for Monkees' Sake"
Get Smart Brute Episode: "The Mild Ones"
1968 Blue Jim Benton
1969 Mission: Impossible Captain Anders Episode: "The Exchange"
1970–1974 Mannix Larry Episode: "Sunburst"
Bob Greer Episode: "To Draw the Lightning"
Dana Croft Episode: "The Crimson Halo"
Larsen Episode: "Picture of a Shadow"
1971 Brother John Cleve
1973 Tenafly Steve Hall Episode: "Joyride to Nowhere"
The F.B.I. Parent Episode: "Fatal Reunion"
Kibbee and Fitch Russell Kibbee Television film
1974–1975 Cannon Delaney Episode: "The Hit Man"
Thomas Lockner Episode: "The Deadly Conspiracy: Part 1"
1974 The Law Cliff Wilson Television film
1975 Barnaby Jones Thomas Lochner Episode: "The Deadly Conspiracy: Part 2"
1975, 1977 The Streets of San Francisco Robert O'Brien Episode: "No Place to Hide"
Nick Malone Episode: "One Last Trick"
1976–1977 The Rockford Files Richard Stehler Episode: "The Fourth Man"
Mike Krasny Episode: "The Dog and Pony Show"
Charlie's Angels Bill Duncan 2 episodes
1977 M*A*S*H Willie Stratton Episode: "Souvenirs"
Rollercoaster Chuck Demerest
1978, 1981 Three's Company Rama Mageesh Episode: "Chrissy and the Guru"
Michael Episode: "Some of That Jazz"
1979 Fast Company Chuck Randall
1980 Benson Petrov Episode: "Checkmate"
How to Beat the High Cost of Living Tom
1980–1981, 1991 Dallas Les Crowley 4 episodes
Pat Connors Episode: "Farewell, My Lovely"
1985 Remington Steele Bill Miles Episode: "Steele in the Chips"
1986 Scarecrow and Mrs. King King Edmund Spencer Episode: "The Boy Who Could Be King"
1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation Zorn Episode: "Encounter at Farpoint"
1988 Hunter Major Voss 2 episodes
1989 C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. Mr. Williams Uncredited
1993–1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Borum Episode: "The Homecoming"
Drofo Awa Episode: "The Maquis, Part II"
1997-1998 Earth's Fury (Anatomy of Disaster) Narrator Voice [17]
1999 Bullet Catchers
Medal of Honor
Mysteries of Asia [18]
1999-2002 E! True Hollywood Story
2004-2006 Expeditions to the Edge

Animated TV seriesEdit

Year Title Role Notes References
1982-1983 The Incredible Hulk Dr. Bruce Banner, additional voices Main Role;13 Episodes
1983–1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Blowtorch, Clutch, Duke, Lift-Ticket, Major Bludd, Scrap-Iron, Tollbooth, Xamot Main Role
1983 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Doctor Octopus Ep. "Spidey meets the Girl from Tomorrow"
1988 Superman Lex Luthor 7 Episodes
1989 X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men Cyclops TV Short
1991–2004 Rugrats Chas Finster, Drew Pickles, Grandpa Boris Kropotkin, Mr. Mucklehoney, Doctor, Jonathan Witt, Mr. Snow, Mike, Artist, Lawyer #1, Mad Scientist, Mailman (1), Tina, Announcers (1), Manager (1), Big Bottle, Barker, Manager (2), Ace, Security Guard, Reptar (3), Dr. Schachter, Jonathan (2), Golfers, Sailor, Fat Man, Harry, Audience Members, Dept. Store Santa, Mission Control, Wedding Guest, Man #1, Ed, Voice (2), Announcer (5), Delivery Man (1), Les, Roberto Mazatlan, Sal (1), Thorg (2), Spike (Chuckie's Dream), Dog Warden, Mr. Mcdermott, Press, Clown (2), Salesman (1), Garbage Man (2), Weatherman (3), PA Announcer, Maintenance Worker, Judge #2, Clowns, Awards Host Recurring role; 141 Episodes
1992–1995 Batman: The Animated Series Airman Captain, additional voices 2 Episodes
1994 Aladdin Aziz 4 Episodes
1996 Adventures in Odyssey Nagle Episode 9: Someone to watch over me
2001 Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Zan Ep. "Very Personal Injury"
2001–2002 Disney's House of Mouse Pongo 2 Episodes
2002 Justice League NTSB Inspector, Conducter Ep. "Metamorphosis" Parts 1 & 2
2003-2007 All Grown Up! Chas Finster, Grandpa Boris Kropotkin, Shop Owner, Cop, Martin Costomiris, Announcer Recurring role; 24 Episodes
2004–2006 The Batman Crime Boss 2, Reporter, Guard 2 Episodes
2006 Frisky Dingo Phillip 3 Episodes
2011 G.I. Joe: Renegades Duke's Dad (Max Hauser), Guard, Delivery Man Ep. "Homecoming Part 1"
2011–2014 The LeBrons Additional voices
2014 Community Duke Episode: "G.I. Jeff"
2015–2016 Transformers: Rescue Bots High Tide 5 Episodes [19]
2017 Star Wars Rebels General Dodonna 4 Episodes
2018 Voltron: Legendary Defender The Archivist Ep. "Kral Zera"
2018 DuckTales Quackerjack 2 Episodes

Animated filmsEdit

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes References
1989 Ys I & II Dark Fact
1994 Bouncers Fu
Master Fo
Mick
Tank
Zap
1998 Baldur's Gate Galkin
Gate Warden
Nimbul
1999 Star Trek: Starfleet Command
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Melchiah
Raziel
Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage Guts
2000 Star Wars: Force Commander General Tyr Taskeen
Icewind Dale Larrel
Star Trek: New Worlds
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Haer'Dalis
Vittorio
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Bajoran Man
Obanak
Wraith Obanak
Starfleet Command Volume II: Empires at War
2001 Emperor: Battle for Dune Unit Response Voice
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Omar Haraad
Vittorio
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction The Druid
Nihlathak
Soul Reaver 2 Raziel
Star Trek: Armada II N/A Additional voices
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Russian Soldier
2002 Freedom Force Merlin
Tochi/Super Samurai
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix Dr. Dimitri Sestrogar
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Peter Jacob
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Druids of the Talon
Medivh
Necromancer
2003 Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits Diekbeck
Alter Echo Echo
Grand Chase Dungeon of Monsters
Call of Duty Sergeant Pavlov Also additional voices
Legacy of Kain: Defiance Raziel
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Biker #2
Interview Announcer
Mutant Crab
Protopet Announcer
Security System
2004 Champions of Norrath Male Dark Elf Shadowknight
Ninja Gaiden Muramasa
Galleon Calverly
Jabez
Treasurer
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse Patriarch
Doom 3 Dr. Pierce Rogers
Shellshock: Nam '67 Howell
Shark Tale Additional Tenant Fish
The Bard's Tale N/A Additional voices [20]
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal Comic Narrator
Lawrence
Trooper #1
Trooper #2
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater The Fear
2005 Shadow of Rome Julius Caesar Also additional voices [21]
Rise of the Kasai Maibisi
Madagascar Nick the Camel
Advent Rising Enorym Tenspur
Darkwatch Cartwright
Age of Empires III John Black
Ratchet: Deadlocked Lawrence
Vox
2007 Ninja Gaiden Sigma Muramasa
Clive Barker's Jericho Governor Cassus Vicus
Lost Odyssey Sed
Universe at War: Earth Assault Sergeant Woolard
2008 Condemned 2: Bloodshot Magic Man
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa N/A Additional voices
2009 Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Lawrence
2010 Alpha Protocol Alan Parker
2011 Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One Lawrence
2012 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Kairozdormu
2013 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII N/A Additional voices
2014 Hearthstone Medivh
2015 Heroes of the Storm Medivh
Transformers: Devastation Scrapper
Sideswipe
2016 World of Warcraft: Legion Medivh
2020 Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition John Black

Crew workEdit

Voice directorEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Golden, Lori (December 1999). "Michael Bell: A Voice for Animals On and Off the Screen". The Pet Press.
  2. ^ Kang, Inkoo (August 22, 2013). "Ten Fascinating Facts from Slimed!, the new Oral History of '90s Nickelodeon". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Proud Rider at IMDb.com (retrieved 7 January 2018); "The Proud Rider at Letterboxd.com (retrieved 7 January 2018)
  4. ^ "An Interview with Michael Bell". The Incredible Hulk 1982 Cartoon Webpage. November 2004.
  5. ^ Koehler, Robert (September 16, 1988). "Stage Review Ladies of the Camellias Matches Duse, Bernhardt at West End". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "Stage News & Notes". The Daily News of Los Angeles. December 9, 1988.
  7. ^ Handel, Jonathan (February 27, 2012). "SAG/AFTRA Anti Merger Lawsuit Drops Demands". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ Verrier, Richard. "SAG-AFTRA merger opponents to drop lawsuit". The New York Times.
  9. ^ *U.S. Patent 5,274,861, "Gray water recycling system" (Jan. 4, 1994)
  10. ^ "GRAYWAY ROTATING DRAIN - Graywater Recycling Device". graywayrotatingdrain.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018 – via archive.org.
  11. ^ "Grayway FAQ". members.aol.com:80/graywaydrain2003. Archived from the original on 18 November 2003. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Melanie Chartoff is also an inventor". Record-Journal. 1992-09-28. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "United States Patent: 5274861 - Gray water recycling system". uspto.gov. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  14. ^ Lisanti, Tom (September 25, 2007). "Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood: Seventy-Five Profiles". McFarland. ISBN 9780786431724. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  15. ^ "Ashley Bell". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  16. ^ "Local Board". SAG-AFTRA.
  17. ^ "Superstorms". Anatomy of Disaster. Season 1. Episode 2. GRB Entertainment. The Learning Channel. Retrieved April 12, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Mysteries of Asia: Jewels in the Jungle". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 12, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Turning the Tide". Transformers: Rescue Bots. Season 3. Episode 18. April 11, 2015. Discovery Family. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ InXile Entertainment. The Bard’s Tale. InXile Entertainment. Scene: Ending credits, 2:10:13 in, More Great Talent.
  21. ^ "Michael Bell". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 23 January 2021. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of the title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.CS1 maint: postscript (link)

External linksEdit