Frank Welker, the Voice of Scooby-Doo, Megatron, the Cave of Wonders, and More Iconic Characters, Has Been in the Biz Since the 1960s
Being in a major Hollywood production means becoming an instant celebrity, right? Not necessarily. For voice actors who do their job well, people learn the name of the character, but not necessarily the actor who gives them life.
Frank Welker may not be a name you recognize, but you’ll definitely recognize his voice. He’s been in hundreds of movies and voiced some of the most recognizable characters in the industry. Most people know him as the voice of Scooby Doo, but that’s just one of his many names.
The man with 1000 voices
Welker is the most credited actor in Hollywood according to The Guardian. To give some perspective on the competition he had to beat out to gain this title, Tom Hanks came in third, with a total of 44 film credits. Samuel Jackson had doubled this amount with 85 film credits. Yet Welker beat the Hollywood elite with 95 feature film credits, and he’s still going strong.
Listing all the characters he’s voiced would take a long time, but Welker has been in several movies. He was the voice of Darkseid on the 1984 show SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. Welker also voiced Dr. Claw on Inspector Gadget.
While Welker is well known for his villain roles, he also plays for the good guys. He was the voice of Dumbo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Welker has also voiced several characters from Tiny Toon Adventures. Those are only a few of the voices he’s played over the years.
According to IMDb, Welker said, “I’ve been doing voices as long as I can remember. When I was little, I could pick up on sounds and then I discovered you could distort what you hear and make people laugh or disrupt a class.” Welker also stated, “I was voted by my high-school senior class as most likely to recede.”
The voice of the Decepticons
One of Welker’s most famous roles was that of Megatron, from the Transformers. His deep, raspy growl fit the robot perfectly and set the tone for the show in many ways. That wasn’t the only Decepticon he’s given life to.
A good argument can be made that Welker was the entire Decepticon force. He’s credited with Megatron, Soundwave, Skywarp, Laserbeak, Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, and Buzzsaw. That’s easily the majority of the Decepticon force.
Welker switched sides on a couple of occasions and voiced some of the Autobots. He is credited with both Trailbreaker and Mirage. Sludge, one of the Dinobots, is another one of Welker’s characters.
In 2007, when the first live-action Transformers film came out, Michael Bay declined to give Welker the role of Megatron. Bay felt that Welker’s take on the voice wasn’t what he was going for. Bay later changed his mind about using Welker and made him the voice of Soundwave in the second film in the series Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Voicing the most well known dog in the world
There is one character that Welker doesn’t get enough credit for, and that’s the voice of Scooby-Doo. The Great Dane might just be the most famous dog in the world. At the very least, he’s the most well known. This isn’t the only Scooby-Doo character he plays, however.
Welker has been credited as the voice of Fred Jones, the relaxed leader of the Scooby Gang, in over 14 different series. This includes Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and Family Guy. In fact, Welker has played Fred Jones over 200 times.