1962 – 2023
This morning has shone a sad light on the news that voice actor Brendan O’Brien passed away earlier this year at the age of 60 — The American performer had starred in several films, TV shows, and video games, but will be best known to video game fans as the original voice of PlayStation platforming hero, Crash Bandicoot.
O’Brien’s passing happened back on March 23, but this evaded public notice until this past weekend, when game developer Tony Grayson reported the news on Twitter. A eulogy was also added to the Legacy website last week, which speaks of O’Brien’s adoption of acting at a very early age, as well as his musical expertise, and his love of nature and exploration, shared with his wife, Ingrid.
In the video game sphere, O’Brien performed the array of wild and madcap sounds that Crash makes as he barrels his way through the Wumpa Islands, offering the zany hero personality through chaotic screams and yells, as well as the memetic “Whoa” that is still intrinsically linked with the series and its characters to this day. O’Brien would voice Crash and other characters, including Tiny Tiger, Dr. N. Gin, and Dr. Nitrus Brio in earlier Crash titles including Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, CTR: Crash Team Racing, and Crash Bash.
A fascinating element of O’Brien’s legacy lies in the fact that, while he never really delivered any actual dialogue as Crash Bandicoot, he infused the personality and character that would lead to the platform hero becoming a huge success, during an era when many such characters would be left by the wayside. And while O’Brien would eventually leave the character in his past, he helped the franchise — one that shape the formative years of so many players — find the heart and success that endures today.
We at Destructoid offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family.