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William "Billy" Simpson, the voice of "Young Spock".

Recently this site was visited by William "Billy" Simpson, the voice of "Young Spock" in the episode "Yesteryear". He was kind enough to answer a few questions about that experience for us. Thanks Billy!!

Well, nearly 30 years have passed so the details are a bit sketchy...

It was 1973 and I was nine years old when my agent called with an audition at Filmation Studios for a new animated "Star Trek" show. Having not really been too aware of the original series, I didn't really appreciate how important this role could be!

I was given a rather extensive stack of sides to study in the waiting room (usually it's just one sample scene from the script) and then was called into a recording studio with director Hal Sutherland in the booth. He rolled tape as I recorded all of the isolated lines marked "Young Spock" and that was it. A day or two later, the agent called with the exciting news that I got the part! When asked when the recording date would be, I was told that I already did it! THEY USED THE AUDITION TAPE!!

Now that you know this, rewatch the tape and you'll find the "cold reading" factor quite apparent. You'll hear me hesitate on some of the unusual character names I had to pronounce -- and there's one reading that bothers me to this day! The preceding line stated something to the effect that it would be impossible to bring the injured I-Chaya to a healer. My line should have had the inflection, "I will bring a healer HERE," but instead was "I will bring a HEALER here." Having been unaware of the context, that seemed the "logical" reading.

I worked for Filmation a couple of years later, in an episode of the live-action series, "Ark II." I recall being approached by Sutherland who proclaimed, "Billy, do you know you won us an Emmy?!" He was referring to the award won by the animated "Star Trek." "Yesteryear" was the episode submitted for academy consideration.

I did some other stuff as a kid actor (all mid-to-late'70s), notably as the voice of "The Little Prince" in the Grammy-winning recording with Richard Burton, Jonathan Winters, and Jim Backus; on stage in Las Vegas at the Union Plaza Hotel for a six-week run as Winthrop in "The Music Man"; the voice of Christopher Robin in assorted "Winnie the Pooh" records and filmstrips for Disney; and the role of Tad Lincoln in the PBS film, "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln" staring Julie Harris.

Currently -- since 1980 -- I'm heard as Whimsical Will delivering the "Demented News" and assorted other foolishness on the nationally syndicated "Dr. Demento Show."

Thanks for your interest, Kail, and for the great site. Feel free to share my memories with your visitors.

Best, William "Billy" Simpson


This page was created by Kail Tescar

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This site was created strictly as a hobby.
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