Christopher Ayres, a prolific voice actor best known for his work on several anime series produced by Funimation, died Tuesday following a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 56.
His girlfriend, voice actor Krystal LaPorte, broke the news in a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying in part, “I have never been alive in a world where Chris wasn’t. I am scared of it. So much of humanity’s kindness, compassion, gentleness, bravery, generosity and integrity were concentrated in one man. Everything feels so much colder.”
“Chris loved you all. How much he loved other people filled the vast majority of our conversations. To those of you who truly loved him back, thank you,” LaPorte continued. “To those of you who stayed in touch, checked on him, reminded him that he was so, so much more than his job, you were the fuel of his fight. You fed the dreams of a future that kept him going longer than any normal person could go.”
Ayres was diagnosed with COPB in 2017 and required a double lung transplant.
Best known as the voice of Frieza in the “Dragon Ball” franchise beginning in 2009, Ayres other roles include Kei Kurono in Gantz and Prince Soma in “Black Bulter,” alongside dozens of other credits. He was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1965 and in addition to voice acting also acted on stage, and worked in ADR.