The voice of Bob the Builder has passed away as a result of complications from cancer. William Dufris, who voiced the eponymous Bob in the North American version of the animated kids' show, died at the age of 62. According to The Wrap, Dufris' death was confirmed on Tuesday in a tweet from Pocket Universe Productions, a company he co-founded.
We are heartbroken to announce that the co-founder of @pocketplot and the director of "EC Comics Presents... The Vault of Horror", William Dufris, has died from cancer.
There is a hole in a lot of people's hearts right now. We will have more to say later.
Bless you, Bill. pic.twitter.com/QHrZ69i6ti— Pocket Universe Productions (@PocketPlot) March 24, 2020
"There is a hole in a lot of people's hearts right now," the tweet read, in part. "We will have more to say later. Bless you, Bill." Along with his work with Pocket Universe Productions, the tweet also noted he was the director of the EC Comics series The Vault of Horror.
Along with the voice of Bob, Dufris voiced a handful of other characters on the show's nine-season run, including Mr. Beasly and Farmer Pickles. Along with the series itself, which ran from 1998 through 2006, his voice can be heard in a half-dozen other projects the show inspired, including two TV movies, Bob the Builder: Building Friendships and Bob the Builder: The Knights of Fix-A-Lot.
In addition to being the U.S. and Canada's version of Bob the Builder, (the British version featured actor Neil Morrisey in the role), Dufris also had a long career doing animation voiceovers. His first credited role was voicing the lead character in the 1978 anime Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo. He'd go on to reprise the role in 1989 with Lupin the 3rd: Bye Bye, Lady Liberty.
Born in 1958, Dufris worked extensively in theater. However, as an American living in London, he found getting work on the stage was difficult. So, he concentrated on voicework. Along with animation, he'd parlayed his talent to work in audiobooks, which he says was made easier after years of voicing cartoon characters.
"From doing animation I learned to breathe in character," he once told AudioFile Magainze. "It enables me to switch quickly to the next character."
"I see the books in a cinematic way," he went on to say. "I cast actors I know in the parts and see the action as I describe it."