Paul Frees
Paul Frees 1970s
Paul Frees narrated the opening sequence in the first eight episodes of I Dream of Jeannie.
General Information:
Occupation: Actor, voice actor, impressionist, comedian and screenwriter
Years active: 1942 to 1986
Sex: Male
Birth name: Solomon Hersh Frees
Date of birth: (1920-06-22)22 June 1920
Born in: Chicago, Illinois
Died: 2 November 1986(1986-11-02) (aged 66)
Died in: Tiburon, California
Series/character information
Appeared on/in
and/or involved with:
I Dream of Jeannie
Job on series: Narrator in opening sequence in Season 1 (episodes 1-8)

Paul Frees (22 June 1920 - 2 November 1986) narrated the opening sequence of I Dream of Jeannie when it used a non-animated, expository opening (the narration mentions that Nelson lived in "a mythical town" named Cocoa Beach in "a mythical state called Florida") before the series switched to the now-familiar animated sequence where Jeannie pops out of her bottle.


A talented actor, voice actor, impressionist, comedian and screenwriter known for his work on MGM, Walter Lantz, and Walt Disney theatrical cartoons during the Golden Age of Animation[1] and for providing the voice of Boris Badenov in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Shos.[1] He became known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices."[2]

Paul was often called upon in the 1950s and '60s to re-loop the dialogue of other actors, often to correct for foreign accents, complete lack of English proficiency, or poor line readings by non-professionals. These dubs extended from a line to entire roles.

Born and raised in Chicago, Paul attended the Chouinard Art Institute under the G.I. Bill after serving in the US Army in World War II. He was at Normandy on D-Day. He was wounded in action and was returned to the United States for a year of recuperation.

he his start in radio, doing voice work for dramas and comedies. His early radio career was cut short when he was drafted into World War II. He was known for doing an incredible impersonation of Orson Welles. Reportedly, he played all of the roles in a 15-minute show called "The Speaker." His work included animation, for which he provided the voices in innumerable cartoons, but notably for such characters as Fox (Frank Tashlin's Fox & Crow series), Ludwig Von Drake (numerous educational shorts by Walt Disney Productions), Boris Badenov (Jay Ward's Rocky and His Friends (1959)), Inspector Fenwick (Ward's The Dudley Do-Right Show (1969)), Morocco Mole (Hanna-Barbera's The Secret Squirrel Show (1965)), Barney Bear (title character from an MGM series of shorts), and was the original voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Was one of Stan Freberg's cast of performers, most notably as the narrator of "Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America, Vol. 1.".

By the early 1970s, he was reportedly making $50,000 a year just for doing the voice work of the Pillsbury Doughboy.


Frees was professionally active until his sudden death from heart failure on 2 November 1986, at age 66. He was living in Tiburon, California. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Paul Frees". The New York Times. November 5, 1986. 
  2. "The A to Z of Old Time Radio by Robert C. Reinehr and John D. Swartz, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8108-7616-3 104 pages, 2008.

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