Video games characters come in a wide palette of colors, creed and species but there’s always a voice behind the visage giving them life. In honor of Black History Month here are a few black voice actors that you’ve heard in one game or another, whether you recognize their voice without their face or not.
Phil Lamarr is probably best known for his work on MADtv and his minor role in Pulp Fiction, but he is also an incredibly accomplished voice actor. His most notable video game work is providing the voice of Vamp, the Romanian ex-member of the dead cell that flat out refused to die in MetalGear Solid 2 and 4. Besides Vamp, Lamarr has also done numerous smaller characters ranging from the Jak and Daxter series to Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and several Star Wars titles.
Kratos may be a Spartan but he’s voiced by an African-American. God of War’s sympathetic anti-hero in all of his incomparable rage and anger gets his vocal tones from Terrence “TC” Carson. Carson is known from his work on the sitcom Living Single from the early to mid 90’s. Though he’s voiced Kratos in no fewer than six games, Carson has also done video game voice acting for a handful of other characters. His other work includes the likes of Mace Windu in a handful of Star Wars titles, Tron: Evolution, Saints Row and Unreal Tournament 3.
Keith David is everywhere. He’s in television (most recently The Cape), movies (going as far back as Platoon), cartoons (remember Gargoyles?) and of course video games. Over the past few years he’s become one of the more recognizable voices in video games. Not too long ago he was bossing around millions in Modern Warfare 2 as Sergeant Foley, making sure they all secured the Burger Town. David also provided his voice in Mass Effect as Captain David Anderson. Other games that feature David’s voice are Halo 3 (Arbiter), Saints Row (Julius Little) and Fallout (Decker)
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve been hearing Beau Billingslea over the past 10+ years in a wide array of video games. Remember Marcus Snow from Ace Combat 5, the pilot that replaces your lost comrade? That’s Billingslea. Remember Barret’s voice in Dirge of Cerebus? That was Billingslea as well. You can hear his voice across several titles in the Dynasty Warriors franchise and even in the likes of Front Mission 4 and Kingdom Hearts II. Billingslea’s body of work is fairly extensive ranging from RPGs and Flight Sims to action adventure titles.