In Memory of Brian Bedford, the Voice of Robin Hood
For most animation fans, Brian Bedford is probably famous for voicing the character of Robin Hood in Disney’s 1973 animated adaptation. But long before – and long after – that film, Bedford had an extremely successful career as a stage actor.
Brian Bedford was born in Yorkshire, England on February 16, 1935. At age 15 he left school to join an amateur theater group. At age 17, Bedford was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Bedford made his Broadway debut in a 1959 production of Peter Shaffer’s Five Finger Exercise. He won a Tony Award in 1971 for his performance in Moliere’s The School for Wives. The release of Disney’s Robin Hood followed two years later.
Fans of Robin Hood fondly remember the scene in which Robin and Little John cross-dress as female fortune tellers in order to rob Prince John. In a delightful bit of serendipity, Bedford earned his seventh Tony nomination in 2011 for his drag performance of Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
On January 13, 2016, Brian Bedford died at age 80, after a two-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his husband, Tim MacDonald, also an actor.
R.I.P. Mr. Bedford. You will not be forgotten!
Image is a slightly altered version of one created by ImDerpyHooves