Sad news coming in today, May 16, for fans of Dragon Ball Z.
One of the shows’ most beloved narrators and iconic dubs, Jose Lavat, has died aged 69.
Toei Animation confirmed the news with a touching tribute on Twitter, by honouring the actor and thanking him for the hard work he put in to make Dragon Ball Z the global phenomenon it is today.
The company wrote:
Rest in peace Jose Lavat, an amazing dubbing actor who lended his voice talent to many famous characters for Hispanic audiences including the narrator in Dragon Ball Z.
Thank you #PepeLavat for everything.
Lavat was most well known in Latin America, where Dragon Ball Z and anime in general has a massive following, report ComicBook.
It was Lavat who helped bring the show to life for Spanish-speaking audiences.
Rest in peace Jose Lavat, an amazing dubbing actor who lended his voice talent to many famous characters for Hispanic audiences including the narrator in #DragonBallZ. Thank you #PepeLavat for everything. pic.twitter.com/uxfuxmFw4x
— Toei Animation (@ToeiAnimation) May 15, 2018
Fans have been taking to social media to share their thanks for Lavat and his great work on bringing cult shows to a much wider, global audience:
Such a shame he was an awesome person the Anime community will miss him a true legend
— nathan freeman (@nsfreeman1992) May 15, 2018
I absolutely hate losing members of the Dragon Ball family. It's the only show I've ever felt so connected to that I literally want everyone who worked on it to be in the absolute best health possible.
— ?? (@xiBLVCKMASKix) May 15, 2018
He might have left us, but his unmistakable voice will continue to echo in our memories. He will always be remembered.
— Sánchez of the End (@OrochiNanaya) May 16, 2018
Lavat wasn’t just known for his work on Dragon Ball Z.
As a dubbing actor he also lent his voice to iconic films such as Tarzan, Death Note, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings and Street Fighter.
Lavat was born in Mexico City in September 1948.
After starting his career in theatre work, he was encouraged to progress in to dubbing thanks to his distinctive voice.
RIP. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.