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R.I.P. Earl Boen


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https://nypost.com/2023/01/06/terminator-actor-earl-boen-dead-at-81/
 

Sad to hear of the death of Earl Boen, a.k.a. the fantastic voice of LeChuck.

He gave life to a dead character, which is an incredible accomplishment.

 

Appearantly he was diagnosed with phase 4 lung cancer last year, which probably explains his absence from Return to Monkey Island.

 

Rest in peace, Earl. You’ll be lovingly remembered.

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I only saw the first two Terminator movies recently. I had no idea he was in them. I enjoyed them.

 

I hope Earl Boen enjoyed his retirement, I hope he got a ton of painkillers for the cancer. Rest in peace.

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I grew up with LeChuck's German voice, Reinhard Schulat-Rademacher, who did a terrific job already, but always read about Earl on fan sites.

 

Then I heard him as LeChuck. Wow!

 

Thanks for these great times!

Edited by Gins
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Posted (edited)

I've been a bit down since I heard the news... His LeChuck was something that immediately clicked with me, first when I played the demo of CMI. I remember the announcements of RtMI and constantly hoping he'd be returning as LeChuck! I was a bit bummed when I heard Jess Harnell took over the role. I like his take, but it's no Earl Boen...

 

I'd like to give a special shout out to his role of the Butcher in Psychonauts! It's a pretty small part, but he's sooo brilliantly terrifying in it:

(spoilers below)

Edited by Lagomorph01
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16 hours ago, JacquesSparkyTail said:

I’ve never seen anything else he’s ever done (not even terminator 😮)

 

If you're interested, Terminator 2 - Judgement Day is just about the best action/sci-fi movie with emotional depth that is out there.

Boen's minor antagonist role is that of a psychiatrist stunted by decades of seeing the worst, and he skillfully walks on a tightrope between scientific interest turned sadistic impulse and halfway well meaning treatment of his patient. One minute you just want to punch his face, the very next you'd like to tell the protagonist to not treat him that brutally.  A small role, but a perfect performance in a perfect movie.

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Earl Boen's LeChuck was always one of my favorites performances in the series. Possibly my favorite, period. In fact, finding out that he was not to be involved in Return put a non-insignificant damper on my expectations.

 

One of those rare, lightning-in-a-bottle casting choices that almost makes it impossible to think that the character wasn't written for him in the first place. He switched effortlessly between LeChuck's goofy, foolish side and his creepy, sadistic side. His take was so perfect and so unique that he's basically irreplaceable. Because even if you hire very talented actors (as they did), inevitably you end up either with someone who kind of sounds like he's imitating the previous performance (Adam Harrington in Tales), or someone who sounds like an entirely different character (Jess Harnell in Return).

 

I would love to hear some day the specific behind-the-scenes circumstances that led to his returning for the first Special Edition but initially not for Tales, despite both games being developed simultaneously. And then his return for the last stretch of Tales. I can only assume, perhaps mistakenly, that had he been involved with Tales since the beginning, he might as well had voiced human LeChuck too, so that would have been a very significant role.

 

He will be sorely missed.

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Loved this guy. Truly sad that he's gone, but I'm glad he had a long and presumably happy retirement. Loved him in Terminator 2 but he was also a key part in Terminator 1. I'll even say that while his part in Terminator 3 wasn't especially well thought out, I'm still really glad he was there. Also a bummer he was already retired when they were making the Sarah Connor Chronicles tv series, since that had a much more interesting take on a post-T2 Silberman that would have been delightful to see Boen perform. I also wouldn't have objected if they had shoehorned him into Terminator Salvation. But alas. I agree he was also an irreplaceably perfect part of the cast of Curse of Monkey Island, and I'm glad they brought him back whenever they could.

 

Quote

I would love to hear some day the specific behind-the-scenes circumstances that led to his returning for the first Special Edition but initially not for Tales, despite both games being developed simultaneously.

 

Jake mentioned in another thread that it seems like the two developers weren't really privy to the details of each other's projects until they were officially announced. My guess would be that the Tales team took for granted that Boen was fully retired so didn't ask, but the remake team went ahead and asked anyway. 

Edited by LuigiHann
accidentally sent before finished typing
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13 hours ago, LuigiHann said:

My guess would be that the Tales team took for granted that Boen was fully retired so didn't ask, but the remake team went ahead and asked anyway. 

Pretty much this. His appearance in the SEs plus fan pushback meant telltale reached out again and got him for LeChuck’s return in the finale. 

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Other than Monkey Island and Terminator ive seen Earl doing voices in other animated works, he was in the 3rd Naked Gun film and he had a great guest star appearance as the entity Negilum in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 2nd season episode "Where Science has Lease"

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Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm glad to hear he's so well remembered, and that I'm not the only one who thinks he's irreplaceable as LeChuck.

 

@Dmnkly, here's hoping you're still wandering these forums from time to time. I was wondering, were you ever able to meet Earl, and if so, do you have a fond memory of him you'd like to share?

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Have been dreading the news of Earl's passing for a while and was very upset to see it confirmed last week. His casting and performance as LeChuck was absolute perfection, and it blew my mind years later to find out that he was in the Terminator movies as well. The reveal of his absence from Return near the games' announcement did put a damper on my excitement for the game, which speaks volumes about how impactful he was in the role, but in the back of my mind I did have the worry that even considering the fact that he was retired, he may not have been physically able to deliver the performance to the standard he felt LeChuck should be, hence his blessing to recast the role. I was happy with Harnell's performance in the end, and I presume he'll become LeChuck's definitive new voice actor in potential future instalments which I wouldn't be opposed to, but Earl was so iconic and his voice so naturally lent itself to LeChuck. He'll be greatly missed.

 

P.S. Wishful thinking, but I was always hoping that @Dmnkly and Earl would just randomly meet in the street one day, Dom would take a picture with him and post it to social media captioned "All friends in the end!" :p

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