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Billie Mae Richards (b. 1921 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian voice actress best known for playing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the 1964 television special (credited as "Billy Richards"), and Tenderheart Bear in the first two Care Bears movies, as well as the DIC-produced television series (credited as Billie Mae "Richard").

Richards has been disappointed with her involvement in the Rudolph special. Despite the fact that Canadian actors at the time of its premiere had a very agreeable union to a three-year buyout via contract, she feels more residuals should have come her way.[1] However, in another interview, she pointed out that "I'm just so glad that my kids, my grandkids, my great-grandkids and probably my great-great-grandkids will see Rudolph."[2] Despite any misgivings she may have had about her involvement with the show, she also voiced Rudolph again in two other Rankin-Bass productions, 1976's Rudolph's Shiny New Year and 1979's summertime sequel Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July.

Richards' two other appearances in Rankin-Bass productions were in Willie McBean and his Magic Machine and The Daydreamer (both from the mid-1960s). About that same time, she appeared in the original Spider-Man television series.

She also starred in 1981's Pennies from Heaven (with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters). More recently, she had a bit part in the 1998 horror film Bram Stoker's Shadow Builder, in which her character was attacked with an axe by Paul Soles (who had played Hermey the elf in the original Rudolph special), and starred in the 2001 short Bluehair.

Richards has retired and is currently living in Toronto.

References

  1. ^ "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at Hymns and Carols of Christmas website. Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  2. ^ Schaefer, William M. "Billie Mae Richards: The Voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", Filmfax #105, January 2005. Archived on billiemaerichards.com. Retrieved 17 December 2008.

Rudolph & His New Friend Frosty Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

External links

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