Tribute to Larry Moran

Tim Dadabo and Larry Moran

Tim Dadabo and Larry Moran

Internationally renowned voice actor Laurence Harold Moran died on Thurs, Dec. 28, 2017.

Known throughout the Chicago production community as “The Funny Voice Man,” Moran entertained, informed, and persuaded millions of fans and consumers over a career that spanned nearly five decades.

Besides bringing life to characters like Quaker Oats’ Cap’n Crunch and McDonald’s Monopoly Man, Moran was also known as a voice for puppets on the Sunday morning television program, The Magic Door, and worked on commercials for healthcare products and education.

A member of the Screen Actors Guild and America Federation of Radio and Television Artists, he found time to play cello for musical groups like the Oak Park Symphony Orchestra, perform with members of the Oak Park Village Players in in Appalachia, contribute short stories to magazines, and write and direct several children’s music programs.

In his spare time, he volunteered for the Pacific Garden Mission’s program, “Unshackled.”

To those close to him, the native Chicagoan — born in the Windy City on March 2, 1939 — was worth a lot more than a few laughs.

According to Radio Bob Monachino, founder and head of creative production group Radio Bob Resort, Moran was “a pro.”

“Larry Moran could spew off any kind of character and take any kind of direction you wanted,” he explains, adding, “he always came in with a tin of cashews.”

Chicago voice actor Tim Dadabo credits Moran for teaching him an exceptional work ethic.

“When I first got into this business, he sat me down and asked, ‘what have you done for the business today? Did you sit down and practice? Did you read the trades? Did you listen to other peoples’ demos?’” Dadabo recalls. “That was Larry’s work ethic. If he didn’t have an appointment or a gig, he was practicing or marketing. “

Dadabo says that he “took everything Larry did and basically copied it,” a task made easier by Moran himself, who was “always happy to give advice” whenever Dadabo asked.

Moran also founded a voiceover business group that met on Saturday mornings in the clubroom of his condo to discuss how to make the business better and, according to Dadabo, “supplied the coffee and the doughnuts.”

After adding his unforgettable voice to Chicago’s advertising and entertainment communities, Moran retired to New Buffalo, MI.

“The last time I saw Larry was at an ARU party,” says Dadabo. “He took me aside and told me, ‘you’re the only one who has done exactly what I asked, and you’re going to take over this town.’ I walked into the bathroom and balled my eyes out.”

Larry is survived by six children and 12 grandchildren. Contributions in his name may be made to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Boys Town USA, or Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI.

  • Cindy (Cossid) Stern

    So sorry to hear this news about Larry. As a writer-producer for various ad agencies, I worked with him a lot in the late 80’s-early 90’s. He was the consummate professional–kind, always on time and ready to go, arriving with a huge smile, signature box of nuts, and a positive energy that lit up the room. And what a talent! He was definitely THE Funny Voice Man, but he could nail a straight narration in one take, too. Sending sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  • Larry made everyone feel as though they were a dear friend. Me included. He was generous with his time, his advice and his talent. I owe my voice-over career to Larry who kindly helped me create my first Chicago voice over demo. Imagine the attention it got when others heard that Larry was on it. He was my friend, my mentor and my dearest colleague whose memory I will always cherish. I will play my old demo tonight in his honor. “See ya’ again some day, funny man and thanks for sharing your vacation trailer with Jim and me!”

  • mcoyle1960

    As an engineer, there were few people I enjoyed recording more than Larry. He prepared for a session like a major-league pitcher. Often he’d show up with audio voice references on a micro-cassette, and he carried an annotated book of voices he may be called upon to mimic.

    And let’s not forget the cashews! I blame ALL of my weight gain during the early 90s on Larry Moran and the many pounds of nuts he left in my studio.

    Thanks for all the great session-memories.

  • Larry Shackley

    Larry did a lot of work for Moody Radio, which is where I met him in the 70s when I was just out of college. He was such a gas to work with on sessions, always coming up with great ideas and exceeding anything you could expect from voice talent. He kept a little notebook with a list of all his voices, and if he came up with a new one, he’d write it down for future reference. He was always down to earth and encouraged everyone in the studio (as well as keeping us in stitches).

  • Sherri Berger

    It’s a sad day for me that my one-time close friend and mentor has died…even unbelievable as Larry was a bigger than life figure and an inspiration to us all, be it client or voice over compatriot. He was a very giving person and actor and he certainly helped many of us in the industry navigate our way. Larry was exceptional in our business because not only was he incredibly talented, he also was an extremely savvy businessman. A positive thinker, he was impossibly upbeat at all times. When I asked him if he ever had a bad day, he said no. He was happy to be alive and doing what he loved to do. Which is why I could never understand how one day, he sort of disappeared from the industry and Chicago with no word to anyone. It’s been a mystery to this day. Larry may be gone, but he touched so many of us in the industry, he will forever live in our memories.

  • mikejaz2

    Boy, this really hits me. Larry was always a treat when we had him out at Deltak in the late70s/early 80s. I have many fond memories of Larry cracking us up with his between-take characters. As all have noted, he’s a funny, compassionate, warm guy…and he ALWAYS came with cashews!

  • Joy Wellington Tillis

    Larry was a wonderful friend to many of us in the post and advertising world. He has been sorely missed over the years and will always be remembered fondly; a mentor to many and he had a great heart. RIP Larry!

  • Pingback: Remembering those we lost in 2018 | Reel Chicago - Midwest film, audio, production, TV, and advertising()