Prolific voice actor best known for role as Frieza on Dragon Ball Z
Thumbnail via Chris Ayres' Facebook
Voice actor Chris Ayres, a long-time fan favorite and best known for playing the role of Frieza in many Funimation releases of Dragon Ball Z over the years, passed away on October 18th. Fellow voice actor Krystal LaPorte shared the news on Tuesday October 19th via tweet, with her message transcribed below:
On October 18th at 8:40pm, my world went dark. Christopher Owen Ayres passed away peacefully, held close by his mother, brother, and girlfriend, and his arm wrapped around his Atticus pillow. He was able to pet the real thing hours beforehand. His hands were held. His face was kissed. We played Jim Croce, The Charlie Chaplin musical, and one hand stayed on my waist as I held the other while Unchained Melody played, the song we knew would be the first dance at our wedding. His mother and brother told stories of his childhood as he left.
I have never been alive in a world where Chris wasn't. I am scared of it. So much of humanity's kindness, compassion, gentleness, bravery, generosity and integrity were concentrated in one man. Everything feels so much colder.
Chris loved you all. How much he loved other people filled the vast majority of our conversations. To those of you who truly loved him back, thank you. To those of you who stayed in touch, checked on him, reminded him that he was so, so much more than his job, you were the fuel of his fight. You fed the dreams of a future that kept him going longer than any normal person could go.
Chris, I miss your face. I miss your voice. I miss your hugs and I cannot even begin to comprehend that I will never walk in a doorway again and hear "Hey, beautiful girl." I miss being your girl. I miss you. I was always one half of Krystal and Chris. I don't want to be Krystal, but I will do my damndest to try and see what you saw in me, and try to be what the world saw in you.
I hope that wherever you are, the first thing you did was take a long, deep breath with your perfect lungs and danced again. I hope you saw a lot of people and animals that I know you missed so deeply. I hope it has all of the horror movies, lots of blackened shrimp and candy, and a giant Doctor Who store.
I know a lot of people reading this will ask "is there anything I can do?" Please be more like Chris. Please, if you learned anything from him, put it in this world. It needs him. Please fill it with love and laughter, always.
"When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun."
Chris Ayres was best known to a generation of anime fans for playing Frieza first in Dragon Ball Z Kai and Dragon Ball Super, as well as in the anime films Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' and Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
In-between the anime releases, he also voiced Frieza in the video game franchise from 2010 to 2018, across multiple releases. Prior to his career-defining casting in Dragon Ball Z, he was known for playing roles across many Funimation and ADV licenses such as Saint Seiya, Mezzo DSA, Gantz, Speed Grapher, Fairy Tail, Black Butler and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, along with his most recent anime roles in Gintama: The Movie and Sengoku Basara: The Last Party. Ayres also frequently acted as ADR Director and scriptwriter for many other series, as well.
Ayres dealt with health issues throughout his career, before undergoing a lung transplant as a result of being diagnosed with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2017. He is survived by his partner Krystal La Porte, his brother and fellow voice actor Greg Ayres, and his mother.