José "Pepe" Fernández Mediavilla, born in Catalonia on the 24th of April of 1940, was a voice-over actor for more than fifty years.
After decades of working for TV shows and dubbing secondary characters in the Spanish adaptations of American movies, he got the chance to be Morgan Freeman’s voice in the film Brubaker. Then, he became a household name.
Mediavilla passed away yesterday, at age 77, after years of suffering from heart disease.
Recently, he had opened a YouTube channel, where he recited poetry. He also had a collaborative project with musician Joe Atlan.
Not only did Mediavilla consistently dub the voices of iconic actors such as Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones and Ian McKellen; but he also worked for the gaming industry. Among his numerous collaborations, we can refer to those as a narrator for the Fallout, Candle and Sacred sagas.
When a Spanish youth thinks of characters such as Gandalf or Spock, the voice they relate to them is that of Pepe Mediavilla.
Mediavilla's career is an example of the great impact on popular culture that a voice-over actor can have. His legacy is forever attached to celebrated pieces of American media. His talent was a vehicle for the introduction of foreign talents, to Spanish audiences.
Spanish pop culture YouTubers and journalists took to Twitter to remember the impact of Mediavilla's work:
"Un mago nunca llega tarde, Frodo Bolsón. Ni pronto. Llega exactamente cuando se lo propone".
Sí, lo has leído con esa voz, la de Pepe Mediavilla. La misma que narró como nadie Cadena Perpetua. La misma que te emocionó en el cuerpo de John Coffey. Hoy se ha apagado. DEP maestro.
— Juanma Romero (@Guardiolato) April 19, 2018
(“'A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.'
Yes, you read it in that voice, in the voice of Pepe Mediavilla. The same voice that narrated The Shawshank Redemption unlike any other. The same voice that moved you, in the body of John Coffet. Today it has gone out. RIP master.”)
Gran pérdida la de Pepe Mediavilla. Su voz seguirá viva mucho tiempo.
— JÄGGER (@MisterJagger_) April 19, 2018
(“Pepe Mediavilla’s is a great loss. His voice will continue to live for a long time.”)
(“Pepe Mediavilla just passed away, he was one of the best voice-over actor Spain has ever had. Voices like that of Morgan Freeman or Ian McKellen. A great among the greats, RIP.”)
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