Voice actor David Hemblen, known to longtime Marvel fans as the voice of Magneto on X-Men: The Animated Series, has sadly passed away. While the cause of death isn’t clear, the actor’s obituary states that he died earlier this month on Nov. 16. He was 79 years old. The X-Men: The Animated Series Twitter account, maintained by writers Julia Lewald and Eric Lewald, have also addressed Hemblen’s passing with a post online.
“This horrible, heart-breaking year continues… Our #Magneto,” the post reads.
David Hemblen was born on Sept. 16, 1941, in London, England. He’d grow up in Toronto, Canada, taking an early interest in theatre and performing. While attending college, Hemblen took to the stage and began working consistently as an actor, starting in the 1960s. He’d go on to appear in several dozen stage productions at major Canadian theatres, at one point earning a Dora nomination for Best Leading Actor for his role as Dr. Astrov in Uncle Vanya.
Hemblen would take his talents to the screen by the 1980s, appearing as Lord Dread in the sci-fi series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future and as Detective Dick Hargrove in Mr. T’s private eye series T and T. He’d later pick up a starring role as Jonathan Doors in Gene Roddenberry’s series Earth: Final Conflict and had a recurring role in the action series La Femme Nikita. Over the course of his career, Hemblen would also have sporadic roles in live-action movies like Short Circuit 2 and Rollerball.
Fans may know Hemblen best for his years-long role as the voice of Magneto on X-Men: The Animated Series, a role he’d reprise for the video game X-Men: Mutant Academy 2. He is also known to horror fans as the voice of the Vaultkeeper on Tales from the Cryptkeeper, an animated version of the HBO anthology series Tales from the Crypt. A particularly talented voice actor, some of Hemblen’s other major roles in animated shows include The Jungle Book: The Adventures of Mowgli, Wild C.A.T.S.: Covert Action Teams, Silver Surfer, and animated adaptations of the popular movies Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The NeverEnding Story.
Hemblen’s death marks the third animated X-Men series voice actor to pass away this year. Norm Spencer, who voiced Cyclops as a part of the voice cast of X-Men: The Animated Serise along with Hemblen, died in August at the age of 62. Just days ago, voice actor Kirby Morrow, who played Cyclops in the followup series X-Men: Evolution, also passed away due to unknown causes at age 47.
Survivor’s include a daughter, Kate; son-in-law, Glyn Thomas; and grandchildren Anna Thomas and Celyn Thomas. Our thoughts go out to them at this dark time. With such a unique voice that defines the Magneto character more so than any other actor for many X-Men fans, it seems clear that Hemblen won’t soon be forgotten. May he rest in peace as his legacy lives on forever. You can read Hemblen’s obituary at Legacy.