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Fred Newman (actor): Wikis


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Fred Newman at work during an episode of A Prairie Home Companion

Frederick R. Newman (born May 6,1952 in LaGrange, Georgia) is an American actor, voice actor, composer, and sound effects artist, as well as a former talk show host.

Newman is a 1974 graduate of the University of Georgia, and is member of the Delta Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. An alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Newman's first job in NYC was at Newsweek. After doing stand-up, Newman soon capitalized on his unique vocalizations, writing the book MouthSounds (first published in 1980, recently updated with a DVD). As a regular on the radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion, his vocal sound effects and acting can be heard on all the away shows from the APHC home base in St. Paul. He has also worked heavily as a voice actor with numerous film, television, and video game credits including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Doug (as Skeeter Valentine, Mr. Dink, and other characters), and Grand Theft Auto 2, Harry and the Hendersons, Gremlins, Munchies, Wolf, and Men in Black.

As a talk show host, Newman was the host of Livewire, a kids' talk show on Nickelodeon in the early 1980s. Livewire was known for giving bands their first television appearance, including R.E.M.

Newman worked with Jim Henson and the Muppets in the 1980s, first as a contributor to Muppet Magazine, and then as the writer of the Muppet Show On Tour live show. In 1987, Newman played the lead role in Henson's sitcom pilot, Puppetman. (The pilot aired on CBS, but wasn't picked up as a series.) Newman also appeared in a 1988 Henson direct-to-video special, Neat Stuff to Know & to Do.

Prior to the 2000 Presidential Election, Newman was cast as the voice of Garry Trudeau's comic strip character Uncle Duke. He provided both voice and motion capture for Duke 2000, a series of online computer animated shorts, and can still be heard in the "Ask Duke" interactive game. He also provided the voice of Trudeau's Jimmy Thudpucker for a NetAid concert.

As an on-camera performer, he was one of only two adult regulars on the 1990s incarnation of The Mickey Mouse Club, and can currently be seen performing wacky sounds while teaching phonics on the PBS series Between the Lions (for which he also writes and provides animated voices). Newman has won two writing Emmys for "Between the Lions." As a musician, he has composed music for the animated series Doug and PB&J Otter, and wrote songs for Doug's 1st Movie.

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