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Robert Matthew "Bob" West (born June 25, 1956 in Finleyville, Pennsylvania) is an American voice actor and graphic designer, who is best known as the original voice of Barney from 1988-2000 in the PBS children's television series, Barney & Friends, and he was later succeeded by many others in the role of the voice. Bob West, a native of Pennsylvania and he grew up in Baytown, Texas, is also known for voicing Pasqually and Jasper for Chuck E. Cheese, which he both voices them in 1986 until 1998.

Early Life

Education

Bob West went to Ross S. Sterling High School and studied art at Trinity University. After 3 years of study under Robert Tiemann, Robert West graduated from Trinity in 1978, then stayed for an additional year of post-graduate studies.[1]

During Bob West's time at Trinity University, he was a part of "The Serenaders", a group that sang under the windows of the girls' dorms at Trinity University, and he eventually became a bit of an institution on campus.[2]

Career

Bob West's first gig (not counting the singing telegram work) was serving as art director and camera operator for a commercial production company while simultaneously launching a parallel career in voice over. In 1995, he began providing web design services, building sites for clients in a variety of industries, including film and entertainment professionals and artists.[3]

Barney & Friends

Bob West signings autographs

Bob West auditioned for Barney back in 1987. As he recalls, "I didn't get the description until a few minutes before the first audition (and no drawings?), so I had to pretty much create it on the spot, which is common [for voice actors]. There was at least one callback audition, I think and the voice was adjusted a bit, as it was before and during early production. At the time, they were also considering using one person for both body and voice, but I was too tall for the costume they'd already started making." Since then, Bob West's voice for Barney has changed over the years. Bob West's voice was not only used in the Barney & The Backyard Gang videos and on the Barney & Friends television show, but also on a 70 market radio show, on Multi-Platinum and Multi-Gold albums, for a feature film, for CBS and NBC primetime specials, as a Daytime Emmy presenter, for toys, for educational games, and for live tours and "personal appearances." In addition, he provided Barney's voice for interviews on The Today Show, Live With Regis & Kathy Lee, Oprah, The Phil Donahue Show, John & Leeza, Marilu, and appearances around the world.[4] In 2000,  Bob West retired from doing the voice of Barney and he was succeeded by Duncan Brannan, Tim Dever, and later, Dean Wendt.

After Barney & Friends

Bob West would later become a graphic designer for the shows, "Speechless" and "The Muppets", which both aired on ABC.

Achievements

Honors and accomplishments include various voice over awards; being asked by Congress to testify on the issue of email spam and the unauthorized sharing of personal information; selection for archiving by the Library of Congress of a self-produced, 9-11-related website; and setting an unofficial world altitude record for bungy jumping from a helicopter.[3]

Personal Life

Bob West currently resides in Los Angeles, California.[1]

Barney Projects

 

  1. The Today Show (February 1993)
  2. Barney & Friends Family Marathon (March 1993)
  3. 20th Daytime Emmy Awards (May 26, 1993)
  4. National Press Club on C-SPAN (November 17, 1993)
  5. Entertainment Tonight (1994)
  6. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1994-1998)
  7. Kids for Character (1996)
  8. The Oprah Winfrey Show (November 19, 1998)
  9. PBS Kids Sprout Launch (2005)

Filmography

Commercials and Ads

  • Pepsi - Narrator
  • Bud Light - Various voices (English and Spanish)
  • Coors Light
  • Frito-Lay - Narrator
  • KFC - Narrator
  • Armour Meats
  • Circuit City
  • Texas Monthly Magazine
  • Texas Lottery - Narrator

Production staff

Year Title Position Notes
1997 Still Breathing Art director
1999 Thick as Thieves Graphic designer Uncredited
2000 Picking Up the Pieces Uncredited
2000 Thirteen Days Uncredited
2001 Jurassic Park III Uncredited
2003 Down with Love Uncredited
2003 The Italian Job Uncredited
2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Uncredited
2005 Be Cool Uncredited
2005 Herbie Fully Loaded Uncredited
2005 House of the Dead 2 Uncredited
2006 10 Items or Less Uncredited
2006 Schools for Scoundrels Uncredited
2007 October Road Episode: "Pilot"; uncredited
2007 Hustle 2 episodes; uncredited
2009 Black Dynamite Uncredited
2009–2015 Community 34 episodes
2009 The Proposal Uncredited
2011 Hop Uncredited
2012 90210 2 episodes; uncredited
2013 Anatomy of Violence Uncredited
2014 Chef Uncredited
2014–2015 Castle 4 episodes
2015–2016 The Muppets 8 episodes
2016 The Sweet Life
2016 Aztec Warrior
2016–2019 Speechless 62 episodes
2017 Wish Upon
2017 Raised by Wolves TV movie
2017–2018 The Mick 20 episodes
2018 Three Rivers TV movie
2018–2020 Single Parents 18 episodes
2020 9-1-1: Lone Star Episode: "Yee-Haw"
Swimming with Sharks[5][3] 1 episode

Trivia

Videos

Interviews

References

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