Thursday, December 18, 2008
R.I.P.: Chris Latta aka Christopher Collins aka Chris Collins, 1949-1994
Awhile back, I wrote a post about the lamest cartoon villains of the 1980's, in which I speculated about whether or not the characters of Starscream, Cobra Commander, and Skeletor were voiced by the same actor. Since I'm a major dork and complete sucker for useless trivia, I decided to delve a little deeper into the matter. After hours and hours of extensive research on the subject, it turns out that 2/3rds of them were.
Chris Latta (also known as Christopher Collins or just plain Chris Collins) provided Starscream and Cobra Commander with their voices in the original Transformers and G.I. Joe cartoons. As it turns out, Chris was an actor and successful comedian along with being a talented voice actor. He appeared as a Klingon in several episodes of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', in addition portraying one of Al Bundy's bowling buddies (and a member of NO MA*AM) on the awesome sitcom 'Married... With Children'. He also voiced the characters of Autobot Wheeljack in Transformers, along with their human companion, Sparkplug Witwicky.
As if all this weren't enough to qualify him as a Total Bro, I also discovered Chris supplied the original voices for Moe The Bartender and Mr. Burns on the 'Simpsons', up until his untimely death on June 12, 1994. Oh, and did I mention that he had a bit part as a mugger on an episode of 'Seinfeld'? This guy was basically a human tribute to all things awesome in the late 80's and early 90's. Dang.
Feeling satisfaction that my research had bore more than enough fruit, I prepared to end my research phase. Chris Latta was a rad dude, and I had uncovered plenty of information to back the fact up. That's when I stumbled accross a brief summation of his work in film. To say the least, my mind was absolutely blown. Here's the kicker: Chris Latta had a bit part in the absolute rulingest film ever, Patrick Swayze swan song "ROAD HOUSE"!!! HOLY CRAP!!!
Chris portrayed the guy in The Double Deuce who offers to let another guy fondle his wife's boobs for 20 bucks, which instigates one of the many barfights in this excellent film. Aha! I knew he looked familiar! This, of course, caused him to skyrocket to the #1 spot on my list of Raddest Dudes Ever. That, and the fact that he also had a bit part in the heartfelt early 90's drama, "Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot".
So, if you're a fan of G.I. Joe, Transformers, Star Trek, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Married...With Children, or Road House (and I think that just about covers everyone in the world), don't forget to pour some out for my boy Chris Latta next time you're downing a couple 40's with your homeboys. Whether you realize it or not, he made a huge contribution to the entertainment industry, and deserves a little spot in the heart of anyone who has one. Rock on, Chris. You are sorely missed.