The anime community was saddened this week at the news of Brice Armstrong’s death. The voice actor was well-known as the Dragon Ball narrator for the FUNimation English dub that aired in the United States.
Armstrong was known for his “big announcer” voice. Renowned actor James Earl Jones once told Brice, “I wish I had your vocal control.”
Besides voicing the original Dragon Ball narrator, Armstrong also voiced multiple roles in the Dragon Ball Z anime series for FUNimation. Armstrong was capable of changing his vocals to voice diverse characters, including Captain Ginyu and Lord Slug.
Besides voicing roles on the Dragon Ball English dub, Armstrong was also credited with voice roles on anime such as Lupin the Third: Farewell to Nostradamus, Baki the Grappler, and Case Closed.
Armstrong was active during the ’90s and early 2000s, retiring from voice acting in 2009.
“Brice was the kindest, funniest person I’ve ever known,” said Christopher Sabat, the English voice of Dragon Ball’s Vegeta character. “He was always humble, never in a bad mood–not the attitude you’d expect from such an industry legend.”
On Facebook, talent agency Mary Collins Agency posted Armstrong’s history in honor of the voice actor’s death.
Armstrong started his career at KRLD Radio/TV in 1964 and went on to do voiceovers for commercials into the ’80s. Armstrong “was the first live announcer on Good Morning, Texas when it premiered on WFAA in the fall of 1994. He was also the voice of Miss Etta Kette on several seasons of Barney & Friends.”
RIP Brice Armstrong you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/fpDkQOp64U
— Undercover Doctor (@warrior_mission) January 20, 2020
Collins recalls that Armstrong could pull off many celebrity impressions.
“How could you get Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Ed Wynn, Bela Lugosi and Johnny Cash in the same studio at the same time?” she wrote. “Simple. Call Mary Collins and ask for Brice Armstrong.”
One of Armstrong’s signature phrases was: “I have to Sally Forth!”
“I like to think Brice is sitting on a stool in the big recording booth in the sky, leaning forward into the mic and announcing, ‘Sally Forth!’ No second take needed,” said voice actor Ric Spiegel, who has played roles in Fullmetal Alchemist, Deus Ex, and Borderlands.
Brice Armstrong’s death was from natural causes. He died in his home. His wife of 42 years, Marianna, passed away in 2008. A memorial service is pending.
Armstrong is survived by daughter Robin Armstrong, sons Joshua Armstrong and wife Marianne, Joseph Armstrong, Paul Armstrong, and wife Rebecca; Matthew Armstrong and wife Emily; Anthony Armstrong and wife Nha; and nine grandchildren: Mason, Jasmine, Diana, Alexander, Evelyn, Ashley, Elizabeth, Ryken, and Logan. He was 84.