The Original Voice Of 'Wallace And Gromit' Will Live On
The world was devastated when news broke that Peter Sallis had passed away at the age of 96. He was best known as the voice of Wallace in Aardman Animations' Wallace & Gromit film series - a role he imbued with an audibly enthusiastic warmth. The stop-motion films cascaded through generations, with Sallis famed for his character's northern-accented catchphrases like 'cracking cheese, Gromit' and 'all's well that ends well, that's what I say'.
The legendary actor was also known for appearing in all 295 episodes of the BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine, which ran from 1973-2010.
But before Sallis passed, he was involved in an ingenious idea that means that his voice will not be lost - check out the video below:
As part of Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal for Bristol's Royal Hospital for Children, the actor took on the character of the hapless inventor once more, to record a range of lift operator announcements.
Staff and families will now get to hear the voice of Wallace any time they step into the lift.
A spokesperson for the hospital says: "We were very sad to hear of the passing of beloved British actor Peter Sallis last week.
"Peter was the voice of Wallace in Aardman's Wallace & Gromit films, and he kindly lent his voice to Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal for the children's hospital lifts.''
Sallis' TV debut came in 1958 playing the title role in The Diary Of Samuel Pepys, before going on to star in a further 16 programmes and 33 films.
#RIP Peter Sallis #WallaceandGromit pic.twitter.com/7OxwgguGYr
- Louie del Carmen (@LouiedelCarmen) June 5, 2017
RIP Peter Sallis. He was the voice behind one of the most amazing animated characters ever aired on television. pic.twitter.com/XLW31mRhXP
- Tiler (@TilerTale) June 6, 2017
This is me this morning. RIP Peter Sallis.#WallaceAndGromit pic.twitter.com/Cc9in8cc4F
- Wolf Cocklin (@wolfcat) June 5, 2017
He first took on his most famous role in 1989 for the film A Grand Day Out, which saw Wallace and his ever-silent sidekick, Gromit the dog, build a rocket and fly to the moon. The actor reprised the role in 1993 and 1995 for The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, which both won Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film.
Another decade went by before fans saw a fourth Wallace & Gromit film, and by that time, legendary actors wanted to be a part of the project. 2005's Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit saw the voiceover talents of Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Peter Kay joining Sallis.
The duo's last feature-length film came three years later with A Matter of Loaf and Death, but Sallis retired from the world of stop motion animation in 2010, following the TV show Wallace & Gromit's World Of Invention. The actor then passed on the mantle of the iconic role to Ben Whitehead.
Featured Image Credit: PA