The Dragon Ball Z fandom is grieving over the recent loss of voice actor Chris Ayres. He was best known as the voice behind Frieza, one of Dragon Ball Z’s most famous villains. He was 56 years old. The news broke after Ayres’ girlfriend and fellow voice actor, Krystal LaPorte, confirmed his passing on her Twitter account.
LaPorte tweeted the following:
A young Chris Ayres started his career in 1973 for the Japanese animated series Gatchaman. He directed shows including Nerima Daikon Brothers and From the New World. Ayres also worked on Broadway in Peter Pan. He was first brought on to Dragon Ball Z in 2009 to voice the villain known as Frieza. Ayres would go on to voice the antagonist for Dragon Ball Z Kai, Dragon Ball Super, as well as the feature anime films Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F and Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
Ayres’ interpretation of Frieza was flawless, as Chris was able to extend the terrifying villain to infamy among the many foes from the Dragon Ball series and all of the anime world. He was the perfect kind of awful you want in a villain. Frieza’s persona was also a delightful contrast to just about every other villain in the series.
Fans, co-workers, friends, and family have all taken to social media to honor Chris Ayres and his impact on the anime community in the days since his passing. Sean Schemmel, who voiced Dragon Ball Z’s lead protagonist, Goku, penned this heartfelt message on Twitter about his long-time colleague, friend, and anime rival.
I can’t stop crying about the loss of my dear friend and colleague, Chris Ayers. I never thought I’d say this because I used to tease him about it all the time, but thank you Chris, for the Love and Laughter, Always…I’ll see you in Otherworld bro, and we’ll spar again, Frieza.. pic.twitter.com/9gjmFaf67A— Sean Schemmel liked a Tweet.™️ (@SeanSchemmel) October 19, 2021
Adult Swim, the channel that aired Dragon Ball Z tweeted a short but powerful message on his passing.
RIP Chris Ayres— adult swim (@adultswim) October 20, 2021
Frieza Forever pic.twitter.com/BMh1kaxa0b
Ayres was diagnosed with COPD and emphysema several years ago. COPD, an acronym for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. Over the years, Ayres underwent double lung transplants and other various surgeries related to his illness.
In a recent tweet, Ayres’ girlfriend shared a heartfelt message of letters and voice messages Chris had made for her over the past years in case he passed. As a reminder of Chris’ character, Ayres has left behind friends family, and fans all over the world with reminders of his legacy.
Even in Heaven my Chris is taking such good care of me. It turns out that for the two and a half years he waited for lungs, he wrote me letters and poetry in case something went wrong, and backed up voice messages he left me. One of them says “Hey beautiful girl.” pic.twitter.com/dfR0sMMrAQ— Krystal LaPorte (@WowSuchKrystal) October 20, 2021