The death of actor and voice actor Kirby Morrow shocked friends and fans of his work when the news broke earlier in the week. The 47-year-old was known for being the original U.S. voice of Dragon Ball Z hero Goku, the LEGO Ninjago series, Stargate Atlantis and the Hallmark Channel's A Ring By Spring and A Wish for Christmas.
Morrow was born in Jasper, Alberta, Canada in 1973, studying acting at the Mount Royal University in Calgary. His first significant role came in the late '90s on the live-action Nina Turtles: Next Mutation series on Fox Kids. He voiced Michaelangelo on the Saban series, following it with the role of Cyclops on X-Men: Evolution.
His time as Goku was many fan's introduction to the character and the Dragon Ball series in the U.S., opening the door for a slew of work over time and peers' respect in the industry. Evidence of this is shown through the thoughts and feelings shared after his passing.
Morrow's death was confirmed on Facebook by his brother on Thursday. Casey Morrow called his brother a "blessed and talented individual" that "thrived off all your love and friendship" to bring joy. No cause of death has yet to be revealed. Scroll down to see some of the touching tributes to Morrow shared by friends and colleagues online.
I am very saddened to hear of the untimely passing of my fellow voice actor cast mate @Kirby_Morrow . I met Kirby whilst recording Ninjago. He was a kind, talented and friendly soul. R.I.P pic.twitter.com/rTKPdRF3RP— Dean Redman (@thedeanredman) November 21, 2020
"We’re incredibly sad to hear the news of voice actor Kirby Morrow’s passing. He was an amazing talent and we were honored to have worked with him on Inuyasha and Yashahime. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time," the company Viz wrote on Twitter after the passing.
Let’s remember our King Kirby Morrow by watching one of his blooper outtakes from InuYasha. He was so funny and absolutely awesome.
He will forever be Miroku and forever be remembered by us all ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2gKxm8xYiA— kylo RIN (@rinsmeido) November 19, 2020
In Loving Memory of Kirby Morrow 1973-2020 pic.twitter.com/QcWuiCJMty— Kyle Tonarella (@KTonarella) November 19, 2020
"Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of dear [Kirby Morrow]," fellow voice actor Kelly Sheridan wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the pair together. "It seems at every important stage in my career, he was there at the mic right next to mine. Jay, Van, Nutcracker Prince, Miroku. My good luck charm. He'll be so very missed by myself & our entire community."
Just a few weeks ago I was watching behind the scenes of Death Note dub recording. Kirby Morrow's was one of my favorite performances of the whole series. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/eMBH5olS3n— Matthew G (@Zombie812Matt) November 19, 2020
"RIP to Kirby Morrow, a very talented VA who voiced many roles from past and present, including Ocean Dub Goku," another fan added. "47 is way too young, and he will be missed. This year continues to take a heavy toll..."
Tribute to the late Kirby Morrow from my brother Eric. pic.twitter.com/RCFyJSdNC1— Jim Bevan (@JimBevan85) November 20, 2020
"Kirby Morrow, the true Master of the Mountain, may you truly be at peace and let your heart soar through the heavens," another fan wrote referencing Morrow's role in the LEGO Ninjago series.
Just horrible... right on the heels of reprising Miroku, too. This year is pulling no punches whatsoever and I hate it. 😞 Rest In Peace, sir. So sorry this happened. https://t.co/irwWs5gy30— Daman Mills (@DamanMills) November 19, 2020
"You were a voice of many childhoods, an inspiration for many careers, and a friend so, so many people," a third fan added.
I’ve never watched Inuyasha with eng dub but as Miroku’s VA, Kirby Morrow was (and will always be) part of this beautiful Inu world like us. I decided not to tweet anything else for today to honour his passing. Rest in peace Kirby. pic.twitter.com/PrBcBPNFid— k i k i 𑁍 半妖の夜叉姫 (@KAGOMEACKERMAN) November 19, 2020
"I'm so saddened by the news of Kirby Morrow's passing and I honestly don't have any words," another fan wrote. "May he be remembered for a long time."
I haven’t really been able to put down in words how profoundly sad I am. The tragic loss of @KirbyMorrow, will be felt throughout the universe for all time. He was a friend, a brother, and a good man. We travelled together through time and space, he will be sorely missed by All.— Michael Adamthwaite (@M_Adamthwaite) November 20, 2020