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Rick May death: Tributes pour in after TF2 Soldier voice actor passes away

Rick May as The Soldier in Team Fortress 2
Rick May, who voiced the Soldier in Team Fortress 2, died after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Pic credit: Valve

Rick May, the actor known for voicing the Soldier in Valve’s Team Fortress 2, has died. May passed away after being diagnosed with COVID-19 while recovering from a stroke.

May had suffered a stroke in February 2020 and was recovering at a nursing home when he contracted the coronavirus that causes the disease, according to a statement by Rekindle School, an art and film school where May was a teacher.

“Rick was a wonderful teacher whose classes and students meant the world to him. He’ll be deeply missed.”

He was later moved from the nursing home to a hospital, where he died. May was reportedly 79 years old.

May is the latest actor to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Monsters and Critics reported last month how veteran stage actor Mark Blum died from coronavirus complications.

The Tony Award-winning playwright, Terrence McNally, also died in March from coronavirus complications.

Tributes on social media

Rick May’s friends, students, and colleagues, have been paying tribute on social media.

Colleagues paying their respects include John Patrick Lowrie, the actor who voiced the Sniper in Team Fortress 2. Lowrie posted a lengthy tribute to his former colleague and friend on Facebook.

“Every recording session with him was always laugh-filled. Yet when the lights went down or the engineer said, ‘rolling’ he was the consummate professional.”

Rick May bio

Rick May was a  teacher at Rekindle School, an acting and film school in Seattle, Washington. He was also the artistic director of Renton Civic Theater and Civic Ligh Opera.

May appeared in and directed more than 300 shows during his career in theater, according to the Rekindle School website.

He worked on productions ranging from musical comedies to Shakespeare.

He also worked as a freelance actor and director for many years. He was known for his work in the award-winning one-man show Bully! An Adventure with Teddy Roosevelt.

He was also known for playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof, Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum, Drummond in Inherit the Wind, and Matthew the Storyteller in Cotton Patch Gospel.

He featured as a voice actor in many video games. He was known for voicing the Soldier in Valve’s multiplayer first-person shooter Team Fortress 2, released in 2007.

Although he was best known as the voice of that tough-talking and battle-hardened character, he was also known for other major video game roles, such as Peppy Hare and Andross in Nintendo’s Star Fox 64.

He narrated and voiced Genghis Khan in Age of Empires II and featured in Sucker Punch Production’s Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.


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