Tony Jay

Tony Jay

Born: February 2, 1933
Died: August 13, 2006 (at age 73)
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Tony Jay (2 February 1933 - 13 August 2006) was an English actor, voice artist, and singer.

A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was known for his voice work in radio, animation, film, and video games. Jay was particularly well known for his distinctive baritone voice, which often led to him being cast in villainous roles. He was best known as the voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Megabyte in ReBoot (1994-2001), Shere Khan in The Jungle Book 2 and the TV series TaleSpin, and the Elder God (plus various other roles) in the Legacy of Kain series of video games.

Jay also made many distinguished on-screen appearances, including the role of Nigel St John on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1995). He further made guest appearances on programs including The Golden Girls in 1987, Twin Peaks in 1990-91, and Night Court in 1991. His most prominent onscreen role, however, is that of Professor Werner in Twins (1988), the mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger's protagonist, Julius Benedict.

Early life and family

Jay was born in London to Jack and Ethel Jay (née Bart, born in Hendon in 1907), who married in 1930. When they married, the family name was Jacobs, but by the time Tony's brother Robert was born in 1945, the family name had changed to Jay. His family were Jewish.

Tony Jay attended Pinner County Grammar School, and completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force in 1953. He later recalled, "I was always an actor at school"; but opted for the financial security of a real estate business. Jay and his first wife moved to South Africa in about 1966, after hearing of the potential there for his line of work. He left South Africa to return to England in 1973, after which he moved to the United States in 1986.

He wed Married With Children make-up artist Kathy Rogers in 1988, and they had a son, Adam, in December that year. In 2004 he married Marta MacGeraghty.


While establishing his real estate business in England, Jay acted occasionally in amateur productions.

South Africa

Within three months of relocating to South Africa at the age of 33, Jay found himself acting in radio dramas. The experience led him to decide to take acting up professionally.

Jay acted, wrote, and directed radio plays on the South African Broadcasting Corporation's first commercial radio station, Springbok Radio (1950-85). He was especially associated with the comic series Taxi! (1969-1972,1975-1978), in which he not only portrayed New York cabby Red Kowalski, but also co-wrote many scripts with Joe Stewardson. Other shows in which he was involved included Lux Radio Theatre, Playhouse 90, and Tuesday Theatre. Jay adapted, cast, and directed the first 6 months of episodes for The Avengers. The series, based on Seasons 4-6 of the 1960s British television series of the same name, was broadcast on Springbok from 6 December 1971 to 28 December 1973. To bridge the gap between the visual orientation of the British television series and the sound-only perspective of radio, Jay created a narrator which he embued with irony and scepticism.

Jay's voice work led him to do commercials for companies such as Gunston Cigarettes, Barclays Bank, and Bols Brandy.


After Jay's return to England in 1973 he worked in various television productions. For the BBC series Fall of Eagles (1974) he portrayed Tsar Alexander III of Russia, during which time he met Patrick Stewart, who played Vladimir Lenin. Jay appeared as the merchant in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (1981) for BBC Shakespeare, and in single episodes of popular television programmes such as The Sweeney (1975), The Professionals (1978) and the comedy Whoops Apocalypse (1982).

During this period he was cast as Vladimir Maximovitch in Woody Allen's Love and Death (1975), which was shot in Hungary and France. George Lucas met with Jay about playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in a planned film with the working title Galactic Warfare. Despite Jay agreeing to the role, Lucas decided to cast Alec Guinness, instead.

On stage he had a small roles in plays such as Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters (1976) and Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea (1981). More important roles followed with an appearance as Jaggers in Great Expectations (1984) at the Old Vic, and as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

Jay was cast as Vincent Crummles in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 8 1/2 hour-long production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1986) at Stratford-upon-Avon.

The United States

After a tour of England, Nicholas Nickleby embarked on a limited tour of the United States, starting with performances in Los Angeles in June 1986, then on to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City. "Even before I left England, I told friends I'd be staying if I got the chance," he recalled in a 1986 The New York Times interview.

During its run from August to October 1986 at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway, Jay's performance was described as "brilliantly played" by the New York Times. Consequently, he was nominated for the 1987 Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.

Jay's acting drew the attention of an agent who arranged for him to return from England to the United States for an audition. Jay was cast in a pilot program called Circus which was unsuccessful. On set Jay met make-up artist Kathy Rogers, who would become his second wife. He moved to the United States where he became a resident.

In addition, Jay won parts in television series such as Night Court (1991), The Golden Girls (1987), Twins (1988), and Eerie, Indiana (1991). Bigger roles included Paracelsus on the 1987 CBS TV series adaptation of Beauty and the Beast; Minister Campio on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992); and Lex Luthor's villainous aide-de-camp Nigel St. John in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1992-95).

Jay's voice-over work included Monsieur D'Arque, the amoral asylum superintendent, in Disney's 1991 hit animated film version of Beauty and the Beast. From 1994-2001 he supplied the voice for the virus Megabyte in the computer animated television show ReBoot. According to one source, Jay was preferred to Patrick Stewart, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen for the voice of Judge Claude Frollo in Disney's 1996 animated film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, who had also steered his performance in the film version of Beauty and the Beast. Jay reprised Frollo's voice for Walt Disney World's nighttime light and fireworks show Fantasmic! From 1995 to 1996 Jay was the voice of the alien warlord Lord Dregg, the villain during the last two seasons of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series.

He is also well-known among fans of the 1996-2003 video game series Legacy of Kain for his voicing of the original Mortanius and of the Elder God, alongside several other minor characters.

In various animated projects Jay took over the voice of Shere Khan, which actor George Sanders had originated for the 1967 Disney animated film The Jungle Book. In 11 episodes spanning 1990-91, Jay voiced Shere Khan for Disney's animated TV series TaleSpin, The Jungle Book: Rhythm and Groove videogame (2000), and the House of Mouse (2001-02). His final appearance as Khan came in the 2003 film The Jungle Book 2. His final role was voicing Spiderus in the Miss Spider series.

Jay was a devotee of classic Broadway and made several recordings and performances of old-time Broadway lyrics, in spoken-word form. A CD of these readings, Speaking of Broadway, was released in 2005; a version recorded in 1996 was entitled Poets on Broadway, as was his website. On it Jay recites lyrics written by the likes of Noël Coward, Ira Gershwin, and Oscar Hammerstein, accompanied by synthesized music which he composed.


In April 2006 Jay underwent surgery in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles) to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his lungs. Afterwards he became critically ill and was readmitted to Cedar Sinai, where he died on August 13, 2006, aged 73. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Seek (short film) Producer Posthumous release
2007 Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation Narrator (voice) Posthumous release
2003 The Jungle Book 2 Shere Khan (voice)
2003 Rugrats Go Wild Dr. Lipschitz (voice)
2002 Treasure Planet Narrator (voice)
2001 Race to Space Narrator (voice)
2001 Recess: School's Out Dr. Rosenthal (voice)
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Narrator (voice) Uncredited
1998 An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island Mr. Toplofty (voice) Direct-to-video
1998 The Rugrats Movie Dr. Lipschitz (voice)
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Reginald (voice)
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame Judge Claude Frollo (voice)
1994 Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights Lord of the Amulet (voice) TV film
1994 Thumbelina Bull (voice) Uncredited
1992 Tom and Jerry: The Movie Lickboot the Lawyer (voice)
1991 Beasties (film) Frankie Direct-to-video
1991 Beauty and the Beast Monsieur D'Arque (voice)
1989 Asterix and the Big Fight Narrator English dub
1988 My Stepmother Is an Alien Council Chief
1988 Twins Professor Werner & The Narrator
1987 Little Dorrit Doctor
1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Narrator Disney 2005 dub
1981 Time Bandits The Supreme Being (voice)
1978 The Greek Tycoon Doctor
1977 My Way II (South Africa) Natie Kaplan
1975 Love and Death Vladimir Maximovich
1972 My Way Natie Kaplan South African Film
1972 Leatherlip Uncredited South African Film
1970 Taxi! Red Kowalski South African Film
1970 Sien Jou Môre Prof. Ivan Ullman (voiced by Danie Smuts)
South African Film
1970 Scotty & Co. Ginger Sid South African Film
1970 Lied in my hart Rudi South African Film
1969 Petticoat Safari Co-Writer South African Film
1968 Majuba: Heuwel van Duiwe Uncredited South African Film


Year Title Role Notes
2014 The Frollo Show Frollo (voice) Archive footage, 2011-14
2007 The History Channel Presents: The Civil War Narrator (voice)
2004-07 Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends Spiderus (voice) 17 episodes

Nominated—Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in a Feature Film

2007 Xyber 9: New Dawn Machestro (voice) 7 episodes
2005 H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer Narrator (voice)
2005 Science of the Bible: Jesus, The Preacher Himself, Narrator (voice) 1 episode
2005 Mickey's Around the World in 80 Days Ostrich (voice)
2006 Me, Eloise Voice Episode: "Eloise in Springtime Part 1"
1996-2004 Hey Arnold! Rex Smythe-Higgins, Voice in the Sky, Doctor (voice) 5 episodes
2004 Tom and Jerry - The Ultimate Classic Collection Unknown
2004 Teen Titans Narrator (voice) Episode: "Transformation"
2004 UFO Files - UFOs: Then and Now? The Innocent Years Narrator (voice) 1 episode
2003 Nostradamus: 500 Years Later Nostradamus (voice) Documentary
2003 Civil War Combat: The Battle of Chickamauga Narrator (voice) Documentary
2003 Civil War Combat: Culp's Hill at Gettysburg Narrator (voice) Documentary
2003 Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids Spiderus (voice) TV movie
2003 Criss Angel: Supernatural Narrator (voice), voice - official trailer TV movie
1992-2003 Rugrats Dr. Lipschitz, Doctor, others 10 episodes
2001-02 House of Mouse Magic Mirror, Shere Khan, Ostrich (voices) 10 episodes
2001 The Gene Pool Renfeld TV movie
1994-2001 ReBoot Megabyte (voice) 26 episodes
2001 ReBoot: My Two Bobs Megabyte (voice) TV movie
2001 The Legend of Tarzan Poacher (voice) Episode: "Tarzan and the Rift"
2001 Providence Unnamed Episode: "Rule Number One"
2001 Lloyd in Space Dr. Werner Von Brain (voice) Episode: "Caution: Wormhole!"
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Dr. Animus (voice) 2 episodes
2000 UFOs: Then and Now? Narrator (voice) TV Movie
1999-2000 Johnny Bravo King Brad, Announcer (voice) 2 episodes
1999 Mickey Mouse Works Ostrich (voice) Episode #1.6
1999 To Serve and Protect Police Pathologist
1996-99 Timon & Pumbaa Empress's Assistant, Jungle Inspector (voices) 2 episodes
1999 Civil War Combat: America's Bloodiest Battles Narrator (voice) TV documentary, 2 episodes
1998 Invasion America The Dragit (voice) 13 episodes
1998 Hollywood & Vinyl Himself 1 episode
1997 Extreme Ghostbusters Macrobe (voice) Episode: "Moby Ghost"
1999 What If? Narrator (voice) TV documentary
1997 Doomsday: What Can We Do? Narrator (voice) TV documentary
1997 Adventures from the Book of Virtues King Darius (voice) Episode: "Faith "
1996-97 Mighty Ducks Wraith (voice) 21 episodes
1997 Puss In Boots Narrator (voice) TV movie
1996-1999 Jumanji (TV series) The Master of Jumanji (voice)
1996 Pinky and the Brain Egyptian Priest (voice) Episode: "The Mummy/Robin Brain"
1996 The Making of Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Himself, Voice of Frollo
1995-96 The Savage Dragon Overlord (voice) 15 episodes
1996 Spider-Man Baron Mordo (voice) 3 episodes
1994-96 The Tick Chairface Chippendale (voice) 7 episodes
1994-96 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lord Dregg (voice) 17 episodes
1996 Bruno the Kid Jarlesburg (voice) Episode: "The Adventure Begins"
1996 The Burning Zone The Chairman Episode: "The Silent Tower"
1996 Superman: The Animated Series - The Last Son of Krypton Sul-Van (voice) TV Movie
1996 Animaniacs Narrator (voice) Episode: "Dot's Entertainment/The Girl with the Googily Goop/Gunga Dot"
1996 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Yeti (voice) Episode: "Twelve Angry Animals"
1996 The Legend of Sarmoti: Siegfried & Roy Voice
1996 Russia's Last Tsar Additional voice National Geographic special
1995-96 The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Peeping Duck, Jaggo Doughnut, Mr.Wizard 3 episodes
1995 Gargoyles Anubis (voice) Episode: "Grief"
1994-95 Fantastic Four Galactus, Terrax, Nauseated Man on TV (voice) 5 episode
1995 Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Frederick, Chief (voice) Episode: "Eau de Krumm/O'Lucky Monster"
1995 Aladdin Khartoum (voice) Episode: "The Book of Khartoum"
1994-95 Skeleton Warriors Golden Skull (voice) 13 episodes
1993-95 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Nigel St. John 7 episodes
1995 Reboot: Fast Forward - The Making of 'Reboot' Megabyte (voice) TV Movie
1994 Beethoven Watson (voice) Episode: "Scent of a Mutt/Down on the Farm"
1994 Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights Additional Voices TV Movie
1994 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Voice Episode: "Ride the High School"
1994 Picket Fences Chief Rabbi Episode: "Squatter's Rights"
1993-94 Mighty Max Virgil, Norman's Dad, Witch Doctor (voice) 40 episodes
1993 2 Stupid Dogs The Chief (voice) 13 episodes
1993 Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert TV Movie
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Judge Silot Gatt Episode: "Brisco for the Defense"
1993 Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert TV Movie
1993 The Little Mermaid Wish Star (voice) Episode: "Wish Upon a Starfish"
1993 Sonic the Hedgehog Guardian (voice, uncredited) Episode: "Super Sonic"
1991-93 The Legend of Prince Valiant Cynan, Baron Alric, Magistrate (voice) 5 episode
1992 Tom & Jerry Kids Voice Episode: "Penthouse Mouse/12 Angry Sheep/The Ant Attack"
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Third Minister Campio Episode: "Cost of Living"
1992 Jonah Voice 1 episode
1991 Adventures in Odyssey Fred J. Faustus (voice) Episode: "The Knight Travellers"
1991 Sisters Charles Dickens Episode: "Eggnog"
1991 Who's the Boss? Paul Murphy Episode: "Grandmommie Dearest"
1991 Darkwing Duck Grim Reaper (voice) Episode: "Dead Duck"
1991 Dynasty: The Reunion Dr. Jobinet 2 episodes
1991 Eerie, Indiana Sir Boris von Orloff Episode: "Scariest Home Videos"
1991 Murphy Brown Dr. Wade Benoit Episode: "Q & A on FYI"
1991 Absolute Strangers Weisfeld TV Movie
1990-91 TaleSpin Shere Khan (voice) 11 episodes
1990-91 Twin Peaks Dougie Milford 3 episodes
1991 Matlock John Bosley Hackett Episode: "The Critic"
1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda Additional Voices Episode: "Pity the Poor Pirate"
1990 Peter Pan and the Pirates Alf Mason (voice) 1 episode
1990 Rainbow Drive Max Hollister TV Movie
1990 His & Hers Dr. Zimmerman Episode: "Fear of Marriage"
1990 Christine Cromwell Episode: "In Vino Veritas"
1989 The Easter Story Caiaphas, Jerusalem Man #3 Animated short
1989 Newhart Reginald Wooster Episode: "Good Lord Loudon"
1989 The New Lassie Mr. Shepherd Episode: "Once Upon a Time..."
1989 The Smurfs Additional Voices Uncredited
1988-1989 Beauty and the Beast Paracelcus 6 episodes
1989 Mr. Belvedere Captain Peel Episode: "Mutiny"
1988 Circus Conrad Simpson TV Pilot
1988 Beverly Hills Buntz Sheik Mohammed Episode: "Buntz of the Desert"
1987 Hunter Father Michaels Episode: "Allegra"
1987 The Golden Girls Laszlo Episode: "The Artist"
1987 Riviera Habib TV Movie
1986 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible Caiaphas, Jerusalem Man #3, God 2 episodes
1985 Dempsey and Makepeace Abe Moser Episode: "Armed and Extremely Dangerous"
1982 The Agatha Christie Hour Count Streptitch Episode: "Jane un search if a job"
1982 Whoops Apocalypse Bagatu Episode: "How to Get Rid of It"
1981 Timon of Athens Merchant TV Movie
1980 Escape Colonel Jalbout Episode: "Kim Philby"
1978 The Professionals Foreign Observer 1 Episode: "Blind Run"
1977 The XYY Man Jacob Mahler 2 episodes
1975 Six Days of Justice Edwin Lovatt Episode: "Angelica"
1975 The Hanged Man Lazlo Episode: "Grail and Platter"
1975 Affairs of the Heart Sir Luke Strett 1 episode
1975 The Sweeney Lambourne Episode: "Golden Boy"
1975 Within These Walls Mr. Graham Episode: "Nowhere for the Kids"
1974 The Case of Eliza Armstrong Henry Poland QC 1 episode
1974 Justice Mr. Papalonios Episode: "Collision Course"
1974 Fall of Eagles Tsar Alexander III 2 episodes

Other Voice Work

Video Games

Year Title Role
2004 The Bard's Tale Narrator (voice)
2004 X-Men Legends Magneto (voice)
2004 Galleon Areliano, Narrator (voice)
2004 Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest Peles
2004 Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Attis, Narrator (voice)
2003 Legacy of Kain: Defiance Elder God
2003 Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter Leader of the Rangers
2003 The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring Narrator (voice)
2003 Armed & Dangerous King (voice)
2003 Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader Voice
2003 Lionheart Voice
2003 Star Trek: Elite Force II Archeopenda (voice)
2003 Freelancer Chancellor Florian Gustov Niemann (voice)
2002 Hunter: The Reckoning Narrator (voice)
2002 Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm Narrator (voice, uncredited)
2001 Star Trek: Armada II USS Caddebostan Captain (voice)
2001 Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance Xantam The Beholder, Ethon (voice)
2001 Return to Castle Wolfenstein The Director (voice, uncredited)
2001 Soul Reaver 2 Elder God (voice)
2001 Dopey's Wild Mine Ride Magic Mirror (voice)
2001 The Jungle Book: Rhythm 'n Groove Shere Khan (voice)
2000 Sacrifice Mithras (voice)
2000 Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale Kresselack (voice)
1999 Y2K: The Game Mister Leopard (voice)
1999 Planescape: Torment The Transcendent One (voice)
1999 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Elder God, Zephon (voice)
1998 Die by the Sword Rastegar, Grub (voice)
1998 Titanic Explorer Capt. Smith, Sir Rufus Isaacs (voice)
1998 Reboot (video game) Megabyte (voice)
1997 Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game The Lieutenant (voice)
1997 Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans Drek'Thar (voice)
1996 Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Mortanius, William the Just, Dark Entity (voice)
1996 Disney's Animated Storybook: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Frollo (voice)
1992 King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow Captain Saladin, Gate, Arch Druid (voice)

Audiobooks & Audio Plays


  • 2006: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. Reader. Blackstone Audio.
  • 2005: Time’s Fool: A Mystery of Shakespeare by Leonard Tourney. Reader. Blackstone Audio.

Audio Plays:

  • 1998: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, winner of the Independent Publishers Award. Blackstone Audio. Cast member.

Radio Serials:

  • 1971-72: The Avengers. Announcer (voice), Writer, Director.
  • 1969-72: Taxi! Writer. Red Kowalski (voice).
  • 1968-72: Squad Cars. Actor, Announcer (voice).
  • 1967-76: The Sound of Darkness. Writer, Actor (voice).


  • London Broadcasting Company - voice-overs for the station's main jingle packages between 1974 and 1980.
  • The Empire Strikes Back (Kenner Products toys).
  • The Dark Crystal.
  • Return of the Jedi (Kenner Products toys).
  • Dr. Mario.
  • Kirby's Dream Land 2.
  • X-Men 2: Clone Wars.
  • Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.


Award Year Category Film Result
Annie Awards
2006 Voice Acting in a Television Production Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Nominated

[ Source: Wikipedia ]