Superman on Television
Danny DarkReal name: Daniel Melville Croskery
Character: Superman in the Super Friends cartoons of the 1970s
Birth Place: Oklahoma City
Date of Death: June 13, 2004
Place of Death: Los Angeles, California
Family: Wife, JoBee Croskery; a son, Jonas; three daughters, Sidney, Caroline Pyle, and Elizabeth; two stepdaughters, JoJami Tyler and Janeen Damian; a brother, Robert; a sister, Carol; and five grandchildren
The Voice of Superman on TelevisionDanny Dark, the unseen voice of Budweiser, StarKist Tuna and many other national brands in television and radio commercials, died on June 13 in Los Angeles. He was 65.
The cause of death was bleeding in the lungs, said Mr. Dark's brother, the Rev. Robert Croskery.
The trade paper Radio & Records said, "Dark's distinctive voice has been heard in more award-winning commercials than any announcer in broadcast history."
In the StarKist commercials, he told Charlie Tuna, "sorry, Charlie;" he said, "This Bud's for you" in Budweiser spots, and "Raid kills bugs dead" in commercials for Raid Ant & Roach Killer.
Mr. Dark, who lived in Los Angeles, was acknowledged in the commercial industry as the voice-over king. "Those were not just anonymous voice-overs, but they are classic lines, a part of pop culture that Danny Dark brought to life with his unique style," said Joe Cipriano, an announcer for Fox television and other networks, who called Mr. Dark his mentor.
Mr. Dark, whose real name was Daniel Melville Croskery, was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Tulsa. He graduated from Central High School in Tulsa, which under the guidance of an English teacher named Isabelle E. Ronan was then a training ground for future stars. Paul Harvey and Tony Randall also graduated from there.
While studying at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., Mr. Dark began a radio career that later took him to stations in Tulsa, Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans, St. Louis, and finally a 1963-66 stint as the evening D.J. for KLAC-AM in Los Angeles.
He broke into voice-over work in the mid-1960's. His first demonstration tapes were rough, but the Los Angeles radio pioneer Chuck Blore helped him refine his delivery.
Mr. Dark was the voice of Superman and several other characters in the "Super Friends" cartoon series.
In addition to his brother, he is survived by his wife, JoBee Croskery; a son, Jonas; three daughters, Sidney, Caroline Pyle, and Elizabeth; two stepdaughters, JoJami Tyler and Janeen Damian; a sister, Carol; and four grandchildren.