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Fred Foy, whose stentorian delivery announced the arrival of the Lone Ranger to millions of radio listeners and TV viewers in the 1940s and ’50s, died Dec. 22 of natural causes at his home in Woburn, Mass. He was 89.
Intoned Foy at the start of each radio program (with “The William Tell Overture” playing):: “Hi-Yo, Silver! A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi-Yo Silver’ … The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again!”
Working at WXYZ in Detroit, Foy took over the position of announcer and narrator for radio’s Lone Ranger on July 2, 1948, and continued until the series ended on Sept. 3, 1954. He even voiced the Lone Ranger in one 1954 episode when Brace Beemer came down with laryngitis.
Foy then reprised his announcer role on television from 1955-57, recording his work in Detroit and shipping it to the ABC studios in California. “I never had the pleasure of meeting and working with [Lone Ranger TV stars] Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels,” he noted in 2002.
Foy also was heard on radio’s The Green Hornet (a spinoff of The Lone Ranger) and The Challenge of the Yukon.
Later, he served as the principal voice of ABC for almost two decades and as the announcer for ABC’s Dick Cavett Show. He also narrated documentaries and did work for commercials and MGM films.
Foy was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in March 2000 and received the Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund in 2004.
Foy is survived by his wife of 63 years, Frances B. Foy; children Nancy Foy, vp feature casting at 20th Century Fox, Wendy Foy Griffis and Fritz Foy; sons-in-law Joe d’Angerio, an actor, and Dan Griffis; daughter-in-law Laurie Hriszko Foy; and grandchildren Justin Cutietta, Hannah d’Angerio and Nathaniel Foy.
Details for a memorial service will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the USO in honor of Foy’s military service in World War II. In the war, he was stationed in Cairo and worked with Jack Benny and Nelson Eddy, among others.
Foy describes his Lone Ranger legacy in the 2008 Archive of American Television interview below:
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