“If God ever wanted to make a speech, Lee Marshall would get the call,” former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda observed.
Lee Marshall, one of the iconic voices behind Tony the Tiger, died of esophageal cancer on April 26 at Santa Monica Hospital, according to the LA Times. Marshall was 64 and is survived by his son Jason Marshall VanBorssum, wife Judie, stepdaughter Eve Borders Ottis and granddaughter Kate.
Tony the Tiger’s famous line, “They’re grrrreat,” became a nostalgic piece of our childhood, something we heard while watching Saturday morning cartoons and remembered every time we spotted Frosted Flakes in the grocery aisle. Marshall took over for the original Tony, Thurl Ravenscroft, when he passed away in 2005.
Often, strangers would recognize Marshall’s voice and ask him to “do” Tony, said his friend and former KRTH-101 colleague Tom Kelly. “He wouldn’t do it with children around,” Kelly told LA Times. “He was very protective of Tony’s image.”
While no official statement has been made on who will continue the role of Tony the Tiger, whoever is chosen will most likely need to carry on the character’s classic “basso profondo” — deep bass — roar.