Billie Mae Richards

Billie Mae Richards
Born Billy Mae Dinsmore
(1921-11-21)November 21, 1921
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died September 10, 2010(2010-09-10) (aged 88)
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Cause of death Stroke
Occupation Voice actress
Years active 1964–2010
Spouse(s) Bill Richards (m. 1940; his death 1995)
Children Judi Richards

Billie Mae Richards (November 21, 1921 – September 10, 2010) was a Canadian voice actress, who also appeared onstage and on television.


Born as Billy Mae Dinsmore in Toronto, she was best known for voicing Rankin/Bass' version of the character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from 1964 to 1979. She also voiced Tenderheart Bear in the first two Care Bears movies, as well as the DIC-produced television series (credited as "Billie Mae Richard"), and Brightheart Raccoon in the Nelvana-produced Care Bears television series.[1]

Richards' four other appearances in Rankin-Bass productions animated were in Willy McBean and his Magic Machine, The King Kong Show, The Smokey Bear Show and The Daydreamer (both from the mid-1960s) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and its sequels all written in the United States and animated in Japan. About that same time, she appeared in the original Spider-Man television series. She also voiced all the female characters in The Undersea Adventures of Captain Nemo and The Toothbrush Family with Len Carlson, who voiced all the male ones.[2] She made guest appearances on the television shows Maniac Mansion, My Secret Identity, War of the Worlds and The Hidden Room. She also had a bit part in the 1998 horror film Bram Stoker's Shadow Builder, in which her character was attacked with an axe by Paul Soles (who had played Hermey the elf in the original Rudolph special), and the 2001 short Bluehair.[2]

Personal life

She was at one time married to musician Bill Richards in 1940, they remained married until his death in 1995. Their daughter, Judi Richards, is a singer-songwriter.[3]




Richards retired to Toronto. She died on September 10, 2010 following a stroke.[4]


  1. Schaefer, William M. "Billie Mae Richards: The Voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer",; retrieved December 17, 2008.
  2. 1 2 Billie Mae Richards at the Internet Movie Database
  3. Betty Nygaard King. "Judi Richards". Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  4. Young, John (September 14, 2010). "Billie Mae Richards, voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, dies at 88". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 17, 2012.

External links

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