The Los Angeles Times Tuesday published a touching obituary for Lee Marshall, 64, who since 1999 had voiced the cheerful, red-bandana’d tiger who endorsed Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal in TV commercials: “They’re Gr-r-r-r-e-a-t!”*
Marshall spoke in deep, rich, practically evangelical tones that turned out to be ideal for selling cereal and a whole lot more.
“If God ever wanted to make a speech,” former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda once quipped, “Lee Marshall would get the call.”
In what seems to have been a well-traveled life, Marshall worked as a sports broadcaster, DJ, wrestling ringside interviewer, and voice actor, often for villains:
“I would just once like to be the guy who saves Scooby-Doo,” he complained to his agent.
That would never happen, he was told: “You’ll always be the guy who tries to kill Scooby-Doo.”
Marshall inherited the role of Tony from Thurl Ravenscroft, who died in 2005.
*Correction, May 8, 2014: This post originally misstated that Lee Marshall was the sole voice of Tony the Tiger since 1999. According to the Los Angeles Times, Marshall’s initial role as Tony was to help Thurl Ravenscroft with dialogue.