Video game voice actor Brad Venable died yesterday, as confirmed by several members of the video game and anime voice acting community. Venable was most recently best known for his work as the Griffon in Devil May Cry 5, who accompanied new character V through his portion of the game. Other recent credits include the Demon’s Souls remake, Serious Sam 4, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. As of this writing, no cause of death has been publicly confirmed.
News of an actor’s death began circulating earlier this morning by others in the field on Twitter, but the identity of who was not initially made public. As a way to pay tribute without making Venable’s identity known, voice actors in the space were silently acknowledging his passing on social media with a single candle emoji.
We’ve just lost someone in our community. Out of respect for their family, I and many others are not saying their name yet. The single candle is for them. We are collectively grieving online; if not for covid, many of us would physically be together right now. Stay safe everyone.
— Cassandra Lee Morris @ Snaktooth Island Gossip (@SoCassandra) January 8, 2021
— Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) January 8, 2021
— Max Mittelman (@MaxMittelman) January 8, 2021
After Venable’s wife gave permission to publicly talk about Venable’s passing, an outpouring of stories from people who had worked with him or knew him in life came out on social media.
Rest in peace, our dear friend @bradvenable.
One of the most truly kind, honest, selfless and generous people I have ever known in the voiceover community. The example of a light we should all strive to be.
I still have the gift you gave me hanging in my living room.
— Kira Buckland ★ (@KiraBuckland) January 8, 2021
If you didn't know @bradvenable, you were missing out. He was kind to every single person he knew. I don't think he gave himself the credit he deserved, but he was always there to be supportive of his colleagues, no matter what stage they were at in their career.
— Erica Mendez (@tsunderica) January 8, 2021
🕯️ Brad and I took a workshop and were given a script that called for Southern accents. I told Brad I can't do a Southern accent, but he encouraged me so I tried anyway.
— Faye Mata 💙 (@FayeMata) January 8, 2021
Even if you were in the industry and hadn’t heard of Brad, he was fighting for you. That’s the kind of person he was. A beacon, a pillar, and an anchor. Four walls and a roof with a heart inside and open arms. The warmth of home. The gentleness of acceptance.
— Zeno Robinson: Super Hero 🦸🏾♂️ (@childishgamzeno) January 8, 2021
More on acting in video games:
- The Halo TV Series Has to Recast Cortana, So It’s Bringing In Her Game Voice Actor
- Destiny 2 Voice Actor Morla Gorrondona on Being Eris Morn
- Defining Dina from The Last of Us: Part II
While Venable’s getting a lot of recognition for his recent roles in Devil May Cry 5, I’m looking through his IMBD page and seeing just how much he had a hand in over the past decade. I guess it really depends on who you are what performances you most associate with an actor, because for me, the role that sticks out most is Max Warhol in Detective Pikachu, who was a central character in one of my favorite segments of that game. Max is a bit of a washed up celebrity known for his comedy acts he performs with his Pokemon partner Chatot, and his frustration about his career leads the character in an interesting direction. Turns out, Venable was even involved in the making of the film adaptation, as well, having done additional voices for the 2019 movie. You can check out Venable’s performance as Max at about the 16-minute mark of this video of the game courtesy of AbdallahSmash026 on YouTube, but be wary of spoilers if you watch past that scene. The dialogue’s a little silly, but Venable sold it.