You may not have known Mark Elliott’s name, but you almost certainly know his voice. He narrated countless trailers, home promotional videos and TV videos for Walt Disney between the 1970s and the early 2000s, his warm, buoyant tone becoming nearly synonymous with the Disney brand. He passed away in Los Angeles, California following a series of heart attacks on Monday at the age of 81.
“He was one of a kind,” his friend and fellow voice actor Charlie Van Dyke told the Hollywood Reporter. “And kind is a great word to describe him.”
Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, The Little Mermaid and hundreds of re-releases were narrated by Elliott, but his work wasn’t exclusive to Disney. In fact, the former radio DJ got his big break recording voice work for a series of radio promos for a then-unknown 1960s scifi flick called Star Wars. The movie’s success quickly elevated Elliott to a rarified stratosphere of demand, where he spent the rest of his professional career, doing voiceover work for classics like Chariots of Fire (which he said was his favorite) and M*A*S*H.
Elliott’s turns in front of the camera were rare, including Lake Bell’s voiceover artist comedy In a World… and the beloved “5 Guys in a Limo” short that got various iconic voice actors into the back of a car.