Chris Ayres, the actor who lent his voice for Frieza in the Dragon Ball anime’s Funimation dub, has died. He was 56 years old. Ayres worked as an English dub ADR director, writer, and voice actor. To date, he has over 200 credits under his belt including jobs on shows like Black Butler, Maburaho, and Sengoku Basara. He has also voiced characters in shows like Fairy Tail and Tears to Tiara, as well as the Dragon Ball series and plenty others. Chirs’s final project was The Dog Park: Prank Calls.
In the Dragon Ball franchise, Ayres is best known for playing Frieza, the franchise’s most infamous villain and the one who sets the plot in motion. As of 2009, he has been working on Funimation’s Dragon Ball Z Kai dubbed version.
During Dragon Ball Super, he served as Goku’s arc nemesis until the 2018 film Dragon Ball Super: Broly. At the end of 2017, Ayres was hospitalized on the diagnosis of final-stage COPD and required a double lung transplant.
In the years that followed, Ayres continued to battle the disease and frequently shared posts his treatments on his website. Ayres revealed in July that he had been taken to hospital because of trouble talking, breathing, and exhaustion.
Well tracheostomy didn't happen today. My blood sodium was too low. I'm disappointed but doing well and so thankful for all of the support. They'll reschedule it when my bloodwork levels out, hopefully soon. pic.twitter.com/OyXrimdYTL
— Christopher Ayres (@Chrisayresva) July 29, 2021
Krystal LaPorte, Ayres’ girlfriend, and colleague confirmed the actor’s death on Twitter on October 18. It was revealed in the heartbreaking post that Ayres has departed surrounded by his loved ones, and he thanked his loyal followers for their support.
“Chris loved you all,” said LaPorte. “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.”
— Krystal LaPorte (@WowSuchKrystal) October 19, 2021
Hundred of loyal fans and former coworkers have taken to social media to express their loss. Funimation wrote “Rest In Peace, Christopher Ayres. Thank you for all that you’ve done for so many fans. We’ll miss you dearly.”
Adult Swim also bid their goodbyes by saying “RIP Chris Ayres, Frieza Forever.”
Sean Schemmel, Dragon Ball’s long-time Goku/Kakarot English voice actor posted. I’ll see you in Otherworld bro, and we’ll spar again, Frieza.”
Chris Ayre worked on both Dragon Ball Super and Dragonball Z Kai. Both were hugely successful both domestically and internationally. Every action he took and every tale he helped tell had a lasting effect on countless people.
The Shahab would like to express their sincere condolences to the Ayres family and the whole anime community on the passing of their beloved member. Ayres was and always be the all-powerful Frieza. You’ve earned your well-deserved rest. RIP Hero!