Spider-Man Actor Paul Soles Died Last Week at 90
Toronto-based actor Paul Soles died at the age of 90. He had a long career as an actor, including voice work for Stan Lee‘s original animated Spider-Man series in the 1960s.
In Memoriam: Paul Soles
The news of Soles death was announced by Soles’ manager, Angela Wright, in a Facebook post Friday. “Paul Soles was truly a Canadian treasure,” Wright wrote. “He lived a long life with so many adventures along the way. RIP.”
According to an obituary in Canada’s The Globe and Mail, Soles died in Toronto on Wednesday, May 26. Although no cause of death was listed, his sister, Ruth-Ellen Soles, confirmed that the voice actor died of natural causes in his own home.
Soles: The First Avenger
The animated Spider-Man series was a joint venture between the U.S. and Canada, with the Toronto-based Soles leading a cast of other local actors. Importantly, the late actor once told The Canadian Press, he experienced antisemitism while growing up Jewish in Toronto, which helped him to eventually identify with the Spider-Man role.
“That helped me find a common ground to be able to at least play the character with those characteristics, with those qualities that I think Stan had in mind,” he said.
“That, in a sense, was a bit of a bond and why it was fun to do the character.”
Soles voiced Peter Parker (A.K.A. Spider-Man) in the animated Spider-Man series, which ran for three seasons on ABC and in syndication between 1967 and 1970. As Spider-Man, Soles had the honor of being the first person to portray the wall-crawler onscreen.
However, not only did he portray the show’s titular hero, he voiced many of the show’s other characters, including one of the Sinister Six members, Vulture.
Soles Marvelous Marvel Career
In addition to voicing the first Peter Parker, Soles voiced other Marvel characters onscreen in The Marvel Super Heroes. When the animated series was originally syndicated, the various segments were packaged into half-hour programs consisting of three segments. However, the intact program has not aired since 1966.
Today, you can watch it in individual segments that feature Soles in different roles.
For example, he regularly played Dr. Bruce Banner and Rick Jones in the 1966 animated television shows: Hulk and Captain America.
The prolific voice actor also played the first onscreen Happy Hogan in 1966’s animated Iron Man series.
And that’s not all, he even had a cameo appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk alongside Edward Norton. In the movie, Soles played Stan Lee’s alter ego, Stanley Lieber (Lee was a pseudonym).
Spider-Man wasn’t the Sole’s only iconic role, however. According to The Wrap, Soles also voiced Hermey the dentist elf in Rankin/Bass’ stop-motion special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which has played on television every holiday season since it first aired in 1964 on the General Electric Fantasy Hour on NBC.
Soles also voiced Marcus in 1966’s Rocket Robin Hood in 1966, Crocodile in 1977’s King of the Beasts, and various characters in 1966’s The King Kong Show.
In Canada, Soles also appeared on CBC Television sketch comedy series, Charlie Had One But He Didn’t Like It, So He Gave It To Us, and he served as the host of the broadcast network’s game show, This Is The Law.
In 1978, Soles hosted the short-lived late-night talk show Canada After Dark for CBC Television, before serving as a longtime (16 years) co-host on the network’s news series, Take 30, with Anna Cameron, Mary Lou Finlay, Adrienne Clarkson, and Hana Gartner.
Although Soles is best known today for portraying Hermey the Elf in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Peter Parker and his crime-fighting alter ego in Spider-Man, the actor worked in every medium, with his favorites being radio and live theater.
Not only did he lend his voice to some of the most iconic characters onscreen, he performed on and off Broadway and headlined theatrical tours across Canada and the US, winning three awards throughout his career.
Source: GameRant.com/My 90-Year Old Roommate