The world of “Barbie” is mourning the death of Bill Cunningham, the original voice of the famous Ken doll in the 1960s.
Cunningham died at his L.A. home on July 15, but news of his passing first surfaced Thursday in a report published by Deadline. His cause of death was not disclosed.
CESD Talent Agency, which Cunningham co-founded, issued a statement praising Bill as being “among the great innovators and gentlemen of the talent representation business.”
The company also noted Bill’s major contributions in his chosen field and described him as a “gregarious, classy man who made a positive impact on all those he represented and employed.”
Bill began doing voice-overs after he returned from military service in World War II. He got his first break on NBC’s “Voices of Walter Schumann” and “The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show.” Then he sang on soundtracks for Hollywood movies produced by Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros.
His career skyrocketed in 1961 when he was tapped to be the voice of Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, after the Mattel toy company created the iconic dolls.