Rick May, a man of many trades, including video game voice acting and teaching, has died, according to Rekindle School. May was a teacher at Rekindle School, an independent educational program located in Seattle, Washington.
The voice actor suffered a stroke in February, and he was rehabilitating at a nursing home, according to the school’s memoriam. While he was at the nursing home recovering, he contracted COVID-19.
May was subsequently moved to Swedish Medical Center to receive care, where he died. He was 79 years old.
May Had a Successful Career Doing Everything From Theater Acting to Video Game Voice-Over Work
Fans know May as the voice of many popular video game characters, including Soldier from Team Fortress 2 as well as Peppy Hare and Andross from Star Fox 64.
May, who also had a theatrical career, directed and appeared in hundreds of shows, ranging from musical comedy to Shakespeare. In the memoriam, he is remembered for many different roles:
The long time artistic director of Renton Civic Theatre and Civic Light Opera, Rick worked over many decades as a freelance actor and director. He also toured in the award-winning one man play, Bully! An Adventure with Teddy Roosevelt.
His roles included Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Ben Franklin in 1776, Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum, W. O. Gant in Look Homeward, Angel, Oscar in The Odd Couple, Weller in The Gin Game, Sid in Take Me Along, Drummond in Inherit the Wind, and his personal favorite, Matthew the Storyteller in Cotton Patch Gospel, a role he performed for three seasons.
According to May’s LinkedIn, he also worked at the University of Washington teaching voice-over, accents, dialectics, and audition techniques.
Friends & Fans React to May’s Death
John Patrick Lowrie, a video game voice actor, posted about his friend May after Lowrie heard of his death. In the post, he said:
I met him over thirty years ago and while we weren’t the socializing type of pals we always enjoyed running into each other at a gig or audition. Every recording session with him was always laugh-filled. Yet when the lights went down or the engineer said, “rolling” he was the consummate professional. He worked hard to get it right and we could always depend on him to deliver. In talking with his wife Diana I found out that he loved the sessions, the camaraderie, the give and take during the rehearsals and actual recording.
A fan posted a video of May wishing his friend a happy birthday while using Soldier from Team Fortress 2’s voice.
The fan said, “Alright that’s it, I’ve had enough of this damn coronavirus, it has taken away my personal hero away from me. May you rest in peace, Rick May.” Another fan tweeted:
His tweet reads, “Rick May, the talented voice of soldier from tf2 has passed away due to Covid-19. Rest in peace Rick May, and thank you for bringing us all the joy you have over the years. I know this is very [devastating] news, and shows us just how careful we need to be in these times.”