- Jay Hickerson
I never dreamed that anyone would, or could, write an entire book about one of my favorite performers, Paul Frees, but Ben Ohmart has done the near-impossible in this entertaining and informative volume. Frees may not be a household name outside of film buffdom, but his work has been heard by untold millions on the soundtracks of movies, radio and TV shows, cartoons, commercials, and at Disneyland since the late 1940s. He was Boris Badenov, John Beresford Tipton (The Millionaire), and the Pillsbury Dough Boy; he played some of the Pirates of the Caribbean and the ghostly host of Walt Disney s Haunted Mansion. He dubbed everyone from Orson Welles to Toshiro Mifune.
In real life, Frees was as outsized as some of the characters he portrayed, a bombastic personality whose arrogant demeanor and tendency to be on all the time masked a lonely and sensitive soul. With the help of Frees family and colleagues, Ohmart has assembled a surprisingly personal portrait of the man, along with a staggering index of his work. (Old-time radio buffs will have a ball reading his broadcast chronology.)
Author Ohmart is also the proprietor of BearManor Media, which has launched an impressive series of books for film, radio and TV aficionados. He deserves our thanks and support. --Leonard Maltin
…we are indebted to author Ben Ohmart for providing a breezy, yet comprehensive biography of Frees. Here we get to witness Frees's early days in radio, his transition to the big screen, his involvement with animation, and his dubbing and advertising work. But aside from the professional aspects of Frees' life, we are privy to his offstage personality and shenanigans (Frees was a true eccentric), thanks to extensive interviews with surviving friends, relatives and co-workers. It's a balanced, warts-and-all kind of treatment, neither excessively reverential nor sniping, and makes for fascinating reading. --Asimov's Science Fiction
Author Ben Ohmart looks beyond the voices (and excesses) to uncover the man within, coming up with an evenhanded, totally honest portrait of a very complicated individual. This is the definitive biography of an amazing artist. The terrific photos (more than 100) are mostly unseen - and are treasures. If you're a fan of Paul Frees, this is a must. --Classic Images