Billie Mae Richards, 88, the voice actress who played the title character in the 1964 animated TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, died Sept. 10 of stroke in Burlington, Canada, according to Variety. The Toronto actress started her career in theater at a young age and switched to radio and voiceover work upon discovering her knack for imitating the voice of a boy. Richards was in her early 40s when she voiced Rudolph in the stop-motion animated special, which has since become the longest-running Christmas TV special and a holiday tradition for many families. “I’m just so glad that my kids, my grandkids, my great-grandkids, and probably my great-great-grandkids will see Rudolph,” Richards said in a 2005 interview for Filmfax magazine. Richards is survived by four children and 12 grandchildren.
Posted September 14 2010 — 10:50 PM EDT
- 'Outlander' is becoming a war story, explains showrunner
- James Bond: Sam Mendes thinks 'it's time for somebody else' to direct
- Tom Hardy chats with Princes William and Harry at charity polo tournament
- 'Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?' trailer: James Franco's re-'vamp'
- Melissa McCarthy to 'Ghostbusters' haters: 'I hope they find a friend'
- Zac Efron shares 'High School Musical' throwback cast photo
- What is Essex Corp? 'X-Men: Apocalypse' post-credits scene explained
- The Best Summer Vacations in Movies
- See Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Photos From Disney Channel Original Movies
- Getting 'Close' With Nick Jonas: See EW's Exclusive Cover Shoot
- Carpool Karaoke: James Corden's Most-Watched Videos
- The Most Famous Swimsuit Scenes From TV and Movies
- See All of Entertainment Weekly's X-Men Covers