Voice actress Krystal LaPorte reported on Tuesday that voice actor Chris Ayres passed away on October 18. He was 56.
In November 2017, non-profit corporation Anime Twin Cities Inc. launched a fundraising campaign for Ayres' medical expenses. Ayres had been diagnosed with end-stage COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The fundraiser sought to raise US$25,000, primarily to assist in medical procedures and care. The fundraising stated at the time that Ayres required a double lung transplant to survive, along with two additional surgeries.
Ayres then reported in November 2019 that he received a lung transplant a month earlier, after having been on a transplant list for almost two years. The Oni-Con convention set up another fundraising campaign for Ayres in July 2020 for his continued medication and treatment, including unexpected follow-up surgeries.
Ayres was born in Richmond in 1965, and he started acting professionally at six years old. As an actor he appeared on both Broadway and Off-Broadway. He previously stated he got into anime thanks to his younger brother, fellow voice actor Greg Ayres.
Chris Ayres is best known for voicing the character Frieza in the Dragon Ball Z series (and Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Super: Broly), and has voiced characters in Gantz, Tamako Market, Phi-Brain - Puzzle of God, Gintama: The Movie, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Sengoku Basara, Initial D, and Tears to Tiara. He has also served as ADR Director and scriptwriter for numerous English dubs.
Ayres was a mainstay at many U.S. anime conventions, hosting panels such as mock combat for cosplay. He also served as fight director for stage plays, and taught stage combat panels at middle schools, high schools, and colleges.
Image via Chris Ayres' Facebook page
Source: Krystal LaPorte's Twitter account