There are thousands of great actors out there who quite literally provide a voice to our favourite books and characters. Many of these artists are hardworking actors who faces and voices the average listener will not recognise. Some audiobooks, however, are narrated by a recognisable name and voice – sometimes because the production company sought out a famous figure and sometimes because an actor has broken out and become famous after recording the book.
Here is a list of ten celebrities out of the many who have narrated audiobooks. Expect a sequel!
While he tends to star in book adaptations, carpet-lover Hugh Dancy has narrated several audiobooks. In addition to children’s books by Stephen and Lucy Hawking, Hugh Dancy narrated the latest book by Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours), By Nightfall.
After being launched into the public spotlight by her starring role in 2001’s The Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway went on to provide the voice of Princess Mia in the audiobooks for the first three books in Meg Cabot’s series. More recently she was nominated for an Audie for her work narrating L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You might not know his face, but you’ll definitely know his voice. Most probably know him as the lead character Goliath from 90s cartoon Gargoyles, but he has provided the voice of The Cat in Coraline, Dr Facilier from The Princess and the Frog and the Flame King in Adventure Time. Or perhaps if you’re a gamer, you might know him as the Arbiter from Halo, David Anderson from Mass Effect or Julius Little (and Keith David) in Saints Row. And when it comes to books, David has lent his deep booming voice to the role of Alex Cross to three of audio adaptations of James Patterson books: Cat and Mouse, Pop Goes the Weasel and Roses are Red.
Now, we could have chosen Carrie as the image for Sissy Spacek, as she did narrate an audio edition of the Stephen King novel, but that would have been too easy. In 2006 (the year after narrating Carrie) Spacek also narrated Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill A Mockingbird.
When it comes to celebrities providing narration for audiobooks, Tim Curry is both one of the most recognisable and the most prolific. In addition to narrating Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series, he has narrated the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix, Peter Pan and its official sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet, as well as multiple books by Stephen King and Anne Rice.
Most recently he has been recording classic books for Audible, including the Audie award-winning full cast production of Dracula where he plays the role of Abraham van Helsing.
Kristen Bell may have provided the voice of the titular character in the television series, but it’s Christina Ricci’s dry voice that brought the character and rest of the cast to life when it comes to the books themselves.
A few years before he put on the leather and horned helmet and told humanity to kneel, Tom Hiddleston narrated an abridged recording of Sally Gardner’s The Red Necklace. More recently he has begun narrating selected James Bond stories.
Christy Carlson Romano
Christy Carlson Romano, the voice behind Kim Possible, has narrated several books over the years, including the Mara Dyer books by Michelle Hodkin. But what you might not know is one book she narrated – Grace’s Turn – she actually wrote herself!
It should come as no surprise that Sir Ian McKellen has narrated several audiobooks over the years, including works by Homer and William Shakespeare. However children might also know his voice as the narrator of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.
While she has narrated books for adults, the most recognisable of her titles have been ones for children. In addition to The Velveteen Rabbit, Streep has narrated The Night Before Christmas and multiple stories by Shrek author William Steig.
And there you have it! Ten out of the many well-known voices that have narrated audiobooks. Have you given any of these people a listen? What did you think? And who are your favourite celebrity narrators?
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