Stan Lee had a distinct voice. In fact, many fans were first introduced to Stan when they heard his voice on animated shows such as The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends in the early 1980s. Originally, the public first heard The Man’s dulcet tones on the highly collectible Marvel Merry Marching Society recording The Voices of Marvel from 1964.
Many others recall thinking they heard Stan’s voice, then they’d then turn around to see that yes, it was actually Stan Lee who stood right there behind them, speaking with his unmistakable cadence. This was the most common way Stan would be recognized before he became the face of Marvel film cameos in the early 21st Century.
Voice casting directors loved Stan Lee’s voice. Every year, Stan would have voice-over sessions booked throughout his schedule. His voice-overs have appeared in nearly twice as many titles as his numerous film cameo appearances, in everything ranging from animated shows to video games, to prime time animated comedy shows like Robot Chicken and The Simpsons (twice!). I had the privilege of joining Stan for many of these recording sessions over my years working for him.
Stan came to these sessions with only the few pages of script that he reviewed once or twice in hand and proceeded to blow these directors away. To quote the ever-humble Stan himself, “Damn, I was good, wasn’t I?” Very good. He often completed his lines in half or one-third the time scheduled for him to do them. He acted each line with verve and vigor, repeating lines without prompting, until the director called cut. After two to three takes, the directors had exactly what they wanted from Stan, and more often than not they stuck with the very first take (Stan nicknamed himself, “One-take Lee”). Only occasionally would a director have to give direction, and Stan would take the direction perfectly, and re-deliver the line exactly as asked. In a word, he was a natural.
When he had the pleasure of working with other voice actors, say Seth Green, Mark Hamill or (almost) the entire cast of The Simpsons, they were equally impressed with Stan’s talent, and of course thrilled with the privilege to record with Stan. This was rare, however, as getting Stan’s busy schedule to match up with the many voice actors called in for various parts was difficult, to say the least. Stan did enjoy working with other voice actors when he could, as he fed off their great performances and in turn gave them great lines to work with in response.
Although Stan is no longer here to do more voice work or appear in cameos, his voice has been preserved for posterity on dozens of shows and games. HERE is a link you can reference to track down the many projects Stan has provided his distinct voice talent for.