Peter Fernandez, a driving force behind the American success of the anime series iSpeed Racer in the late 1960s, died last week from cancer at his home in Pomona, N.Y. He was 83.
Fernandez was well known to fans of the series as the voice of Speed Racer and of Racer X. He also wrote the famous English lyrics to the theme song and helped script a number of the episodes of the series, which originally aired in Japan as Mach Go Go Go.
According to The New York Times, Fernandez began acting at age 11, appearing on Broadway and later on children’s radio programs. He later wrote stories for pulp magazines.
His first break in the anime sector came when producer Fred Ladd hired Fernandez to write English dialog for Astro Boy. He later wrote and dubbed dialog for Gigantor and then for Speed Racer, the newspaper reports.
Beloved by fans of the iconic series, Fernandez had a cameo as a race announcer in the 2008 Speed Racer live-action feature film.
Fernandez is survived by his wife, Noel; sister, Jacqueline Hayes; brother, Edward; two children from his first marriage, Peter and April Fernandez; stepdaughter, Elizabeth McAlister; and nine grandchildren.