Star Wars Voice Actor Tom Kane Retires After Suffering Stroke
Star Wars voice actor Tom Kane announced he's retiring after suffering a debilitating stroke in late 2020.
The official Wookieepedia Twitter account shared the news over the weekend by re-sharing a post from Kane's family, along with the caption, "We have some sad news today. It's been announced that Tom Kane is retiring from voice work. His performances over the years are legendary and brought joy to so many of us. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. May the Force be with you all."
"Because of this stroke my dad has been forced into early retirement. The damage to his speech center is just too severe," read the statement written by Kane's daughter Sam. "He cannot read well nor get out the words he wants, which is sort of required for voice acting."
Sam further explained that the stroke caused her father to struggle with Apraxia, which makes it difficult for him to transition smoothly from one sound or word to another. She added that her dad has been especially frustrated because "he knows exactly what he wants to say, he knows exactly what's going on, but the words are trapped in his head, and when they do come out, it's usually too slurred to understand."
Sam concluded the post by encouraging her father's fans to send letters to his new P.O. Box, noting, "He has also been practicing his signature and would love to start autographing from home."
The prolific voice actor's family first announced he had suffered a stroke back in December 2020, explaining in a statement, "About two months ago he had a left side stroke that gave him right-sided weakness and damage to the speech center of his brain. This means right now he cannot efficiently communicate verbally, nor read or spell." Kane's family also shared at the time the Kane was in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was receiving "speech, occupational, and physical therapy" treatments.
Kane is probably best known for providing the voice of Yoda in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and in several other Star Wars productions. He was also known as a recurring voice for Admiral Ackbar. Outside of the Star Wars universe, Kane contributed to cartoons including The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, The Wild Thornberrys and Kim Possible, as well as video games including Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Call of Duty.