Friday, July 5, 2024

Linda Gary (Part 2)

Dubbed in Rome

By Johan Melle

June 16, 2024

Mel Welles also hired both Charles and Linda to play small on-screen parts in his exploitation film Joyride to Nowhere (1977) about two teenage runaways, and she later played a tiny role in the car chase film Smokey Bites the Dust (1981) but that was one of the last times Linda appeared on the screen, as she preferred to focus all of her efforts on voice work.

[Linda as a chatty boutique owner in Joyride to Nowhere (1977).]

[Charles Howerton as a sheriff in Joyride to Nowhere. He and Linda do not physically appear together, but they're in the same scene, speaking to each other on the phone.]

Around this time, Linda’s voice acting career began to take off. On radio, she starred in the well-received sci fi series Alien Worlds (1979-80), and on television she began to voice characters in animated series produced by Filmation Studios such as Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1976-79), Space Sentinels (1977) and Blackstar (1981). And it was for Filmation that she did the series for which she is arguably best remembered: the massively popular He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-85) where she provided the voices of all the four central female characters: Teela, Queen Marlena, the Sorceress of Greyskull Castle and the villainous Evil-Lyn, as well as numerous one-off characters.

Linda also worked on the spin-off series She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985-87), and on that series, too, she voiced a number of different regular characters. 

“In animation, you have to do two or three roles. Linda wound up doing five to seven,” husband Charles remarked in the Mouse Tracks book. “She was 90 percent of the female characters. There were many times when even I didn’t know it was her, she was so good at changing her tone and pitch.” 

The fact that she got to tackle such a wide variety of different roles – from sweet-sounding princesses to evil, cackling witches and everything in between – was one of the main reasons Linda preferred doing voice acting. “It gives me more opportunity to play different characters that I wouldn’t ordinarily be cast for, such as a Gracie Allen character or an old woman or a witch. Or a short, cute pixie,” she explained in the 1987 Los Angeles Times interview, adding that actors have “a freedom in voice-over that you wouldn’t have on camera. First of all, no one really knows who you are, so you have more room to experiment.” 

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Linda also voiced guest or recurring characters in such well-known animated series as The Smurfs and Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo for Hanna-Barbera, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin and The Little Mermaid for Disney, The Transformers and G.I. Joe for Sunbow/Marvel, and Batman: The Animated Series for Warner Bros. Animation. She also did several animated feature films, including Universal Cartoon Studios’ The Land Before Time sequels, in which she was the voice of Grandma Longneck, voiced multiple characters in the computer adventure games King’s Quest VI and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, and even did read-along storybooks of everything from Disney classics to Star Trek. 

In terms of live action voice work, Linda provided the female voice of God in the Blake Edwards fantasy comedy film Switch (1991) starring Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits. It’s also likely that she sometimes also dubbed actresses in foreign films into English like she had done in Rome, but currently there are no known examples of this. 

Linda always took her work very seriously, and in the Los Angeles Times interview she explained that she usually received the scripts ahead of time so that she could practice and develop suitable voices for the characters she’d be voicing. Often, she would practice in what she referred to as her ‘private studio’ – her car, in which she had cassettes of accents and of different characters. 

She was also not above getting physically into the character while in the dubbing studio, including shriveling herself into the form of a sputtering, gravelly-voiced witch in order to get the feel of being a witch. “You have to have some empathy with the character you’re playing to make them real,” she explained in the Los Angeles Times interview. “When you’re doing a character, especially a cartoon, your body has to move, your face has to move, you have to contort yourself into what that character is doing.” 

From 1994 to 1995, Linda voiced the regular role of Aunt May in Marvel Productions’ animated Spider-Man TV series, which sadly, would prove to be her final performance. She died of brain cancer on October 5, 1995 at her North Hollywood home, just a month shy of her 51st birthday, and was survived by her husband Charles, their daughters Dana and Alexis, and her brother Paul. An extraordinarily talented actress, taken away much too soon, but her legacy lives on as she left behind an incredible body of work, much of which is surely still just waiting to be discovered. Linda has been rightly hailed for her superlative voice for in animation, and I hope this post will bring more recognition to the great and unjustly forgotten dubbing work she did during her years in Rome, too.

 The dubbing filmography I’ve compiled below is limited to Linda’s live action dubbing roles and is, as always, a work in progress, and I’ll add more roles as soon as I discover them.

Dubbing filmography:

[Highlighted titles are Spaghetti westerns] 

- Star Pilot (1966; dubbed in the early 1970s) - voice of Luisa Solmi (Leontine Snell) 

- Blood Calls to Blood (1968; dubbed in the early 1970s) - voice of Mary Ann (Lea Nanni) 

- Crime Story (1968; dubbed in the early 1970s) - voice of Sonia (Aurora De Alba) 

- Compañeros (1970) - voice of Lola (Iris Berben) and Zaira (Karin Schubert) 

- A Barrel Full of Dollars (1971) - voice of Monica (Simone Blondell) 

- A Bay of Blood (1971) - voice of Renata (Claudine Auger) 

- Black Killer (1971) - voice of Consuelo (Tiziana Dini) 

- The Day of Judgement (1971) - voice of Prairie Flower (Edda Di Benedetto) 

- Django’s Cut Price Corpses (1971) - voice of Dolores (Angela Portaluri) 

- Excuse Me, My Name is... Rocco Papaleo (1971) - voice of Jenny (Lauren Hutton) 

- The Eye of the Spider (1971) - voice of Gloria (Lucretia Love) 

- Four Candles for Garringo (1971) - voice of Elaine Farley (Olga Omar) 

- Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) - voice of Maria (Laura Troschel) 

- Graveyard of Horror (1971) - voice of Lady Anne (Catherine Ellison) 

- Hands Up, Dead Man! You’re Under Arrest (1971) - voice of Nora Carson (Mary


- His Name Was King (1971) - voice of Carol Marley (Anne Puskin) 

- His Name Was Sam Wallash (1971) - voice of Fanny (Simone Blondell) 

- Lady Frankenstein (1971) - voice of Tania Frankenstein (Rosalba Neri) 

- Lobo the Bastard (1971) - voice of Mexican Girl (Daniela Giordano) 

- Paid in Blood (1971) - voice of Cora (Krista Nell) 

- They Still Call Me Trinity (1971) - voice of Perla (Yanti Somer) 

- Vendetta at Dawn (1971) - voice of Laurie Baxter (Laura Troschel) 

- Amuck (1972) - voice of Greta Franklin (Barbara Bouchet) 

- The Big Bust-Out (1972) - voice of Claire (Patrizia Barbot) 

- Black Turin (1972) - voice of Nascarella (Maria Baxa)

- The Boldest Job in the West (1972) - voice of Sophie (Barbara Carroll) 

- A Bounty Killer for Trinity (1972) - voice of Carmen (Tiziana Dini) and Saloon Girl

  (Carla Mancini) 

- Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1972) - voice of Amira (Geneviève Deloir) 

- Execution Squad (1972) - voice of Sandra (Mariangela Melato) 

- The Federal Man (1972) - voice of Lola (Monica Randall) 

- God is My Colt (1972) - voice of Mary (Krista Nell) 

- The Great Treasure Hunt (1972) - voice of Agnes (Rosalba Neri) 

- Hallelujah and Sartana Strike Again (1972) - voice of Gertrude (Wanda Vismara)

- Hector the Mighty (1972) - voice of Helen (Rosanna Schiaffino)

- His Name Was Holy Ghost (1972) - voice of Juana Mendoza (Pilar Velazquez)

- The Lady in Red Kills Seven Times (1972) - voice of Rosemary Müller (Pia Giancaro) 

- The Last Decameron – Adultery in 7 Easy Lessons (1972) - voice of The Jealous Husband’s Wife (Marina Malfatti) 

- Life is Tough, Eh Providence? (1972) - voice of Stella (Janet Agren) 

- The Long Arm of the Godfather (1972) - voice of Sabina (Erika Blanc) 

- Moonskin Girl (1972) - voice of Simone (Zeudi Araya) 

- More Sexy Canterbury Tales (1972) - voice of Tonia (Enza Sbordone) 

- The Murder Mansion (1972) - voice of Laura (Anna Lisa Nardi) 

- Naked Girl Killed in Park... (1972) - voice of Barbara Wallenberger (Patrizia Adiutori) 

- The Night of the Devils (1972) - voice of Sdenka (Agostina Belli) 

- The Night of the Scorpion (1972) - voice of Jenny (Teresa Gimpera) 

- The Other Canterbury Tales (1972) - voice of Mino’s Wife (Leonora Vivaldi) 

- Put Your Devil Into My Hell (1972) - voice of Violante (Melinda Pillon) 

- The Return of Clint the Stranger (1972) - voice of Norma (Marina Malfatti) 

- The Ribald Decameron (1972) - voice of Mother Lucrezia (Malisa Longo) 

- Run Men! Eldorado is Coming to Trinity (1972) - voice of Juanita (Daniela Giordano) 

- Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972) - voice of Giulia Torresi (Uschi Glas) 

- So Sweet, So Dead (1972) - voice of Barbara Capuana (Sylva Koscina) 

- Tales of Erotica (1972) - voice of Eugenia (Shirley Corrigan)

- They Called Him Amen (1972) - voice of Dorothy (Sydne Rome) 

- They Called Him Veritas (1972) - voice of Paquita (Maria D’Incoronato) 

- Trinity & Sartana... Those Dirty Sons o’ B-s (1972) - voice of Martha (Daniela Giordano)

- What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) - voice of Elizabeth Seccles (Cristina Galbo)

- You’re Jinxed, Friend, You’ve Met Sacramento (1972) - voice of Maggie Thompson

   (Jenny Atkins)

- Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) - voice of Floriana (Edwige Fenech)

- The Arena (1973) - voice of Mamawi (Pam Grier)

- Battle of the Amazons (1973) - voice of Eraclea (Lucretia Love)

- The Black Hand (1973) - voice of Mary (Annie Carol Edel)

- The Counsellor (1973) - voice of Dorothy (Perla Cristal)

- Death Smiles at Murder (1973) - voice of Greta von Holstein (Ewa Aulin)

- The Devil’s Wedding Night (1973) - voice of Tania (Enza Sbordone)

- Even Angels Eat Beans (1973) - voice of Salvation Army Lady (Francy Fair)

- The Executioner of God (1973) - voice of Carol (Nuccia Cardinali)

- The Funny Face of the Godfather (1973) - voice of Rosalia (Dada Gallotti)

- Gang War in Milan (1973) - voice of Virginia (Carla Romanelli)

- Girl in Room 2A (1973) - voice of Alicia Songberg (Rosalba Neri)

- God Help Us! Here Comes the Passatore (1973) - voice of Zaira (Helga Liné)

- Helen, Yes... Helen of Troy (1973) - voice of Helen (Christa Linder)

- I Kiss the Hand (1973) - voice of Mariuccia Ferrante (Agostina Belli)

- Mean Frank and Crazy Tony (1973) - voice of Orchidea (Edwige Fenech)

- The Return of the Evil Dead (1973) - voice of Monica (Loreta Tovar)

- Revolver (1973) - voice of Carlotta (Paola Pitagora)

- Special Killers (1973) - voice of Laura Damiani (Femi Benussi)

- Tales of Canterbury (1973) - voice of Carlotta (Patrizia Adiutori)

- Spectreman (TV series, 1971-72; dubbed in 1977) - voice of Rita (Machiko Konishi), Margaret (Naoko Shin), Sally (Rumi Goto), Kim (Taeko Sakurai) and various others

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