Peter Fernandez (January 29, 1927 – July 15, 2010) was an American actor, voice actor and voice director, best known as the voice of the titular character of Speed Racer. In addition, Fernandez was the co-writer, voice director and translator of the English theme song. He was instrumental in introducing many Japanese anime series to English-speaking audiences.
Born in New York City, Fernandez was a child model for the John Robert Power Agency. He then appeared on both radio and Broadway, appearing in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine in 1941. His radio appearances included roles on Mr. District Attorney, Let's Pretend, Gangbusters, My Best Girls, Superman, and Suspense, as well as soap operas. He was drafted into the United States Army at age 18, late in World War II. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, he became a prolific writer for both radio and pulp fiction.
Fernandez is best known for his voice work, and has been heard in English adaptions of many foreign films and anime. Fernandez is best known as the American voice of the title character in the 1967 anime series Speed Racer, along with many other roles, including Racer X. Besides acting in Speed Racer, he not only voice directed and wrote the English adaptation, he was also the lyricist for the English version of the show's theme song. The rapid-fire delivery of dialogue made famous by Speed Racer was devised by Fernandez and his American voice co-stars in order to make the dialogue jibe with the original Japanese mouth movements.
He returned in the 2008 animated series Speed Racer: The Next Generation to play a middle-aged Headmaster Spritle. In the live-action 2008 film Speed Racer, Fernandez had a small part as a racing announcer.
He was also responsible for writing and voice acting for other dubbed anime titles such as Astro Boy, Gigantor, Marine Boy, Star Blazers and Superbook. He was the voice director for Courage the Cowardly Dog, which he has said was his favorite. He was also voice director for Robert Mandell's Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders.
In 2007, he was awarded The Special American Anime Award for Outstanding Achievement. Fernandez was interviewed in 2008 on his activities and voice over work. His last major public appearance was at the 2009 Seattle, Washington Sakura-Con.
- Astro Boy (1963-1965) - Additional Voices
- Gigantor (1963-1966) - Dick Strong, Buttons, Johnny, Additional Voices
- Speed Racer (1967-1968) - Speed Racer, Racer X, Additional Voices
- Marine Boy (1969) - Dr. Mariner, Piper, Additional Voices
- Star Blazers (1980-1981) - Mark Venture (Season 3), Additional Voices
- Superbook (1981-1983) - Isaac (ep. 5), Steward (ep. 5), Elijah (ep. 21), Baal Priest #1 (ep. 21), Potiphar (ep. 32), Pharaoh (ep. 32), Eber (ep. 32), Additional Voices
- Thunderbirds 2086 (1983) - Additional Voices
- Alakazam the Great (1960) - Alakazam
- The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots (1969) - Additional Voices
- The Enchanted Journey (1981) - Northern Squirrel, Additional Voices