Rick May, the voice actor who played the roll of the Solider in Valve's Team Fortress 2, has sadly passed away from complications of COVID-19.
The news was reported by the Rekindle School for acting and film in Seattle, where May worked as a teacher. May was recovering from a stroke when he contracted COVID-19, which is believed to have a contributory factor.
John Patrick Lowrie, who voiced the Sniper, posted a tribute to May on Facebook;
Last evening as I was casually going through Facebook I came across a posting that truly shocked me, my friend Rick May had passed away due to Covid-19. I hadn’t seen him since December of last year when he recorded what has sadly now turned out to be his last turn as Inspector Lestrade for our radio series “The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Rick had played the part since the third episode back in 1998 and was the longest running actor in the role in the history of broadcasting. The posting said he’d suffered a heart attack in February of this year, which I knew nothing about. He was also dealing with cancer; I think he might have bragged that it took a pandemic to bring him down.
I met him over thirty years ago and while we weren’t the socializing type of pals we always enjoyed running into each other at a gig or audition. Every recording session with him was always laugh-filled. Yet when the lights went down or the engineer said, “rolling” he was the consummate professional. He worked hard to get it right and we could always depend on him to deliver. In talking with his wife Diana I found out that he loved the sessions, the camaraderie, the give and take during the rehearsals and actual recording. Whenever one of his shows aired he would listen, as do I to mine. However, Rick would listen to the ones he’d had no part in and write to say, “Wasn’t so and so great!” or “Man, that was a fantastic scrip!” I would always send him a copy of the finished product.
Rick May was a force of nature, a pain in the ass sometimes but never to the point where I would not use him again and again. We were working friends, colleagues and buddies. Hopefully there will be those who will speak of his years in the theater, as a teacher, a director and voice talent, of his one-man show as Teddy Roosevelt. I knew the man who asked me if I could get him a copy of an old Republic Studios serial cliffhanger “The Phantom Rider” if he got me an autograph from his friend Ty Hardin from the old “Bronco” TV series.
I knew the man who along with Frank Buxton and David Selvig stood and applauded my daughter Andee when I introduced her to the audience at the Kirkland Performance Center for what would be her first appearance as a professional actor.
I knew the man who was always encouraging when I had my bout with cancer.
I knew the man whose passing leaves a huge hole in my heart and I believe so many others.
Apart from Team Fortress 2, May also featured in games such as Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, Honor Among Thieves, and Star Fox 64.
Outside of video gaming, he served as the artistic director of the Renton Civic Theater and Civic Light Opera, directing hundreds of shows over the hears including The Odd COuple, Fiddler on the Roof, and Death of a Salesman.