Left 4 Dead’s Jim French Passes at 89
Jim French was a Seattle radio host and voice actor who lent his voice in 2008 to the video game Left 4 Dead. Left 4 Dead was not the only game he voiced; he also was the voice of Father Grigori in Half Life 2 and the Elder Titan in Dota 2. He passed away at the age of 89. He was one of the last full-time voice actors producing radio theater on commercial stations in the U. S.
French produced Imagination Theater, a radio drama program that was syndicated to over 100 FM an AM radio stations across North America and on SiriusXM satellite radio.
French was also a veteran of World War II where he was a writer and presenter of weekly shows that broadcast over the Armed Forces Radio Service. After the war, he returned to Seattle where he was born and continued his broadcasting career.
In the multiplayer game Left 4 Dead, he is recognizable as the voice for William “Bill” Overbeck. This credit is what most video game enthusiasts know him for. Overbeck, like French, was also a veteran. In the game, Overbeck is the grizzled, beret-wearing Vietnam veteran and is one of the four original survivors battling the zombie apocalypse. And though there are four playable characters for players to pick, Overbeck is typically seen as the unit’s leader.
We send our thoughts out to French’s family and friends; may he rest in peace.