RIP Peter Thomas
We lost one of the true giants of our industry this weekend, the man I will always consider the "World's Greatest Narrator" Peter Thomas passed away on Saturday.
He was 91, and more than due for a rest... but nonetheless I am immeasurably sad.
I was privileged and blessed to know Peter for, oh, about 25 years, and considered him a good friend for much of that time.
Peter was the kindest, sweetest, most giving man I have ever known. There are countless voiceover guys across the country that consider him not just an inspiration, but a mentor... as he would go out of his way to help others.
I used him for many many spots. I would sometimes get fairly incredulous calls or emails from other producers who would marvel "How did you get Peter Thomas???"...especially for a local single-market spot. Well, that was simply because he was generous enough to do them, there was no job that was beneath him and no job that he gave less than 100% for.
Couple of quick stories... the first time I ever used Peter, it was just a quick tag for a spot for a bank. It cost an arm and a leg, but we thought it was worth it. After chatting with him on the phone we discovered that his late father-in-law and my mother worked together decades ago in the same office. Instantly, we were good friends. He later called to "apologize" for his high rate, and then told me in the future to call him anytime, just "pay me what you can"... no agents, no unions. Generous to a fault.
Another time, he recorded about a dozen or more tracks in his home studio for me. They were all golden of course. But an hour later I got a call from him from a "real" studio in Naples where he lived, he had gone in to do some Burger King spots and decided to bang out another dozen takes for me, he wasn't happy with his first effort. Later that afternoon I got yet another call from him, he was at a different studio recording "Forensic Files," and had decided to do a few more. I did not have the heart to tell him that we had already edited with one of his very first takes.
Here's one spot he did for us a few years ago....
I looked up to Peter more than anyone in our industry. Honestly, no one else even comes close. He was an incredible talent and an even better person.
I know some of you have worked with him as well, and I'm so honored to have done so. Even more honored to just have simply known him.
Rest well, Peter.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Truly one of the greats. My deepest sympathies on the industry's loss of such a tremendous talent and for your personal loss.
Sad indeed, to lose both a friend and a college like him in one go.
Does his son continue the family business?
Yeah, it sucks.
Yes, as far as I know, Peter Jr. is still doing voiceover work. BUT, I just noticed his website is dark (just parked on a generic GoDaddy page). Peter Jr. lived, I believe in Arizona (or somewhere out west), but I know has been spending a great deal of time in Florida helping care for his dad... he might have even moved there. So, I'm unsure if he is actively at the mic these days.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I worked with Peter Thomas in the 70's and 80's in New York. Back then he would come in to town about 2 or 3 days a week, setup in whatever recording studio and knock out about 8 to 10 sessions, then put on his hat and back to Connecticut. I used to say when I died I wanted to come back as a VO guy, it was really Peter Thomas I was thinking of.
One of the nicest, most civil, most pleasant people I have ever worked with. And technically there was nobody like him - he had a thin reedy voice that disappeared so that you only heard the writers words - he did not intrude on the copy. Writers loved him. And because the tonal quality of his voice was never upfront you never got tired of hearing him, he would have dozens of commercials on the air at the same time and most people never realized they were all by the same person.
There was nothing like working with him on medical narrations - he knew all the Latin based terms and their pronunciations better than the clients, and he could control his breath so that his phrasing was based on the writers content - he paused for punctuation, never for his need for air.
I was just a youngster when I worked with him but he never treated me that way - it was an honor to know him, and my best wishes go out to his family and loved ones.
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf
Wow his work was so killer! That hospital video is awesome. Sad to hear he's gone :(
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