R.I.P. Peter Fernandez (Speed Racer)
Peter Fernandez, best known as the voice of SPEED RACER and Racer X on the classic US-dubbed anime adventure show has passed away. He was 83.
Fernandez’s voice work began on radio, heard on shows such as SUPERMAN and SUSPENSE, moving to on camera acting in the days of live television, on shows including CAPTAIN VIDEO AND HIS VIDEO RANGERS.
By the 1960’s, Peter Fernandez had moved into writing, directing and providing the voices for dubbed foreign-made films and cartoons.
The films included MOTHRA (1961), GODZILLA Vs. THE SEA MONSTER (1966), THE ANTI-CHRIST (1974), INFRA-MAN (1975) and many other movies from Italy and other European countries, often for the NY-based Titra dubbing studio. As these films often didn’t acknowledge being dubbed, it would be difficult to say for sure just how many he was involved with directly.
Sometimes, even American-made films such as George A. Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) made use of Fernandez’s services.
TV series, both animated and live action, that featured his writing, voice-directing and/or acting included ASTRO BOY, GIGANTOR, MARINE BOY, THE SPACE GIANTS (pictured), ULTRAMAN, and STAR BLAZERS, on which he was the voice of navigator Mark Venture for one of the seasons.
Later work included THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALAXY RANGERS, THUNDERBIRDS 2086, ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE, SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION, and the often surreal COURAGE, THE COWARDLY DOG.
In the Wachowski brothers SPEED RACER (2008) he played a racetrack announcer, in a nod to his roles on the 60’s cartoon.