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Obituary: Brendan O'Brien, original Crash Bandicoot actor, died at age 60

O'Brien provided the original voice for Crash Bandicoot and his longtime nemesis Neo Cortex, in what was one of the most defining franchises for the early PlayStation brand.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 16, 2023

1 Min Read
Headshot of Crash Bandicoot voice actor Brendan O'Brien.

Brendan O'Brien, the original voice actor for Crash Bandicoot, has passed away at the age of 60. The multitalented actor died on March 23, with word of his passing only spreading after an obituary surfaced online.

Born on May 9, 1962, O'Brien first started his acting career at the age of 10 with the 1973 film Honor Thy Father. From then on, he appeared in films and shows such as P.U.N.K.S., Hollywood Chaos, and Todd MacFarlane's Spawn. He took a break from acting altogether starting in 2004, which ended with The CW's Riverdale in 2020.

Starting in 1996, O'Brien voiced Crash and his nemesis Neo Cortex in the original Crash Bandicoot game. He'd go on to voice those two, along with other franchise characters like N. Gin, Tiny Tiger, and Komodo Moe during Naughty Dog's tenure with the franchise, and in the early days after the series was sold to Universal Interactive. 

He later bowed out of the Crash series with 2001's Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. However, his voice would be used via archive recordings for sequels such as 2004's Crash Purple: Ripto's Rampage, and Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in 2016. 

Speaking to his time as Crash, his obituary page notes that he "encouraged nostalgic Crash fans in their own pursuits and loved signing their memorabilia."

Following his passing, the official Twitter for the Crash franchise wrote that O'Brien "was an incredible talent who brought Crash Bandicoot and other Crash characters to life. He will forever live on in the hearts of Crash fans." 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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