Few people would call Glenn Shadix an A-list celebrity, yet his cinematic contributions are just as memorable as Oscar-winning performances by other actors. Shadix was blessed with a face and voice that lingered in the minds of moviegoers. Audiences may not have known his name, but Shadix’s presence in a film was impossible to ignore.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Birmingham News reported that Shadix, 58, passed away following a fall in his condo. His sister, Susan Gagne, is quoted as saying that Shadix was suffering from mobility problems and used a wheelchair. For one of Hollywood’s most notable character actors, this is truly a sad ending to a life and career.
Otho and “Day-O”
Few actors could play fussy, preening characters quite as well as Glenn Shadix. In what fans consider his signature role, Shadix played interior designer Otho in the surprise 1988 comedy Beetlejuice. Otho also was a guest at the famous dinner party in which everyone involuntarily sang “Day-O,” a catchy tune also known as “The Banana Boat Song.”
Fans like me, however, will fondly remember Shadix as Associate Bob from the 1993 Sandra Bullock/Sylvester Stallone adventure Demolition Man. Set approximately 50 years in the future, this film tells the story of an ultra-violent police officer who is sentenced to a cryogenic prison. Freed at a time when the world has been cleansed of violence – even cursing is against the law – the officer must stop a serial killer.
Shadix’s portrayal of Associate Bob is an absolute joy to behold. The ultimate sycophant, Associate Bob would attach himself to whoever was in power at the moment. If one boss is killed, Bob simply begins serving the next person to take the reins of power, instructing them in their duties. Much more than the power behind the throne, Associate Bob was an oversized Jiminy Cricket who simply looked out for himself.
Shadix blessed with an unforgettable voice
Even if his face wasn’t familiar, Glenn Shadix was blessed with a voice that could easily be recognized. That’s why he was easy to pick out in the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, even hidden under layers of prosthetic makeup.
Shadix’s vocal talents also made him a natural for voice-over work, especially in cartoons. Animation fans probably never knew his name, but they definitely knew the distinctive voice that graced Teen Titans, Justice League and dozens of other animated shows.
Shadix’s voice may have gone silent, but I am confident that somewhere, the man behind Associate Bob is still doing what he does best – making people smile with his face and voice.
The Birmingham News, “Bessemer native and ‘Beetlejuice’ actor Glenn Shadix dies following a fall in his condo,” Bob Carlton