Saturday, August 13, 2011

Super ‘70s and ‘80s: “Super Friends”—Michael Rye (Green Lantern, Apache Chief)

Introduction to series “Super ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Introduction to subseries "Super Friends" (including a list of interviewees).

How did you get the job on Super Friends?

Won the audition against many other voice-over actors.

Michael on Mission: Impossible (1967).

Were you familiar with Green Lantern before you got the job?


What do you know about the development of Apache Chief? (Unlike many of the other characters, he was not in the comics but rather created to bring diversity to the cartoon.)

Did not know that.

Did you ever feel Apache Chief (or any of the other minority characters that H-B created for the show including Black Vulcan and Samurai) was stereotypical or even sometimes offensive?


How much time, if any, did you spend with the other voice actors when you weren’t working?


Which voice actors were you most friendly with?

Les Tremaine (not on Super Friends).

How do you look back on your time on SF?

It was one of several jobs that I worked on any given day.

What do your children and grandchildren (if applicable) think of your time as a superhero?

No children.

Has anyone else interviewed you about SF?


Have you ever participated (i.e. signed autographs) at a comic convention? If not, would you be willing to (if the convention paid your way)?

No and no. [Michael was born in 1918 and his wife said attending a convention would be too exhausting for him.]

Michael’s wife Patricia (whom he married in 1962) embellished:

He used the name Rye Billsbury, his given name, when he was averaging 45 network radio shows a week (before TV, when radio drama, comedy, etc., were in their prime).

[One role he did] after Super Friends was Disney’s Gummi Bears. He retired from the voice business in the late 1990s.

Now Michael likes to read books, magazines, and some newspapers. His interests include science, the arts, medicine, politics, and many other subjects. He watches some TV; CNN is a favorite.

9/21/12 addendum: Michael Rye passed away today.

Next: Buster Jones (Black Vulcan).


Mel said...

surprising to know that the actors I grew up with in the 80's and 90's had done work well before then.

hobbyfan said...

Michael was also the announcer for the old Cisco Kid TV show and worked on the original Lone Ranger cartoon (1966), among his zillions of other credits. His voice could also be heard on the Dragon's Lair arcade game from the mid-80's.