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Little Known Facts About E.T.’s Voice

Any movie buffs out there?

Recently I heard some interesting facts about the voice artist who recorded the voice of E.T. in Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982).
Who provided the voice? Why’d they get chosen? How much were they paid?
Find out in today’s VOX Daily!

The Voice of E.T.

Story ideas come from all over the place and this particular one was presented to me by one of our staff at Voices, E.J. Debenham. E.J.’s son, Austin, came across some tidbits about the voice of E.T. that I thought you’d find interesting. The following E.T. trivia is confirmed on IMDb.

Who Was The Voice Of E.T.?

American film actress, Pat Welsh (1915-1995), was cast as the voice of E.T. (uncredited) in the 1982 film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. At the time of the film’s release Welsh was 67 years old.
Over the course of her career, Welsh was cast in three films, one of which was Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), another uncredited role voicing the character Boushh.

How Pat Was Cast

Pat Welsh was a chain smoker whose raspy voice gave E.T. its signature sound. She smoked two packets of cigarettes a day. Sound effects creator Ben Burtt overheard Welsh speaking in a camera store, liked what he heard and invited her to audition for the part.
Welsh did the majority of the voice work for E.T. which was used simultaneously with Debra Winger.

Work And Pay

According to IMDb, Pat Welsh worked on the film for nine-and-a-half hours recording her part and was paid $380 by Burtt for her services.

Do You Have Any Cool Trivia To Share?

If you love movies and keep track of neat facts about voice over roles in film, I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to comment below.
Best wishes,
Stephanie

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Comments

  • Tim Lewis
    July 25, 2011, 9:10 pm

    Pat Welsh was NOT paid very well for all the work she did! I would have demanded more for the time put forth!

    Reply
  • VOX Daily Reader
    July 25, 2011, 10:54 pm

    She made about $38/hour. That’s pretty darn good.

    Reply
  • David Van Sise
    July 26, 2011, 10:01 am

    Such Memorable talent and to have been not given ON Screen Credit is appalling as well as the amount she was paid! She should have received thousands of Dollars and been given a very notable line in the credits. How sad that this business would do such a thing.
    “DVS Voice Overs”
    David Van Sise

    Reply
  • D Castro
    April 11, 2013, 1:10 am

    This was back in the very early 80’s when acting & voice over work was an actual creative art. Her pay was very fair for that era in film work. Way before over indulgent actors and agents demanded thousands if not millions of dollars for their one day of work.

    Reply
  • Dave
    April 28, 2013, 4:09 am

    Setting the record (ed voice) straight: the voice of E.T. was provided by actress Ellen Corby.

    Reply
  • Lamont
    May 20, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Dave, sorry bud but you’re talking about Grandma Walton in the Waltons. No connection between her and ET. Good night John-boy…

    Reply
  • David Aston
    November 3, 2014, 8:56 am

    She was royaly ripped off !!!! Only $380 for her part in the movie and movie history and to top it off no recognition in the credits !!! I hope her family steps up and fights for what should be her reward !!!

    Reply
  • gene wayne
    June 19, 2015, 7:06 pm

    Just read a book about Pat Welsh. I read it twice it was that good. Here diary of 1931. She talked about wanting to be love and famous even back then. That movie meant so much to her. Any and everything you want to know about her is there. Would love to have know her. look it up her book is called pat welsh the voice of et memoir of a voice and me. Oh I really like the cover of the book. Who ever it was did a good cover. Gene

    Reply
  • Richard T. Ashcraft
    November 28, 2019, 7:32 pm

    I grew up with Ben Burts assistant (at the time) who was with Ben when they heard her voice for the first time. He tells a funny story. I’ll provide his name, his current profession (still in sound) and I’d love to read what he has to say if you are fortunate enough to interview him. He’s a private and modest person doing what he has loved since a young age. Because of his modest nature I will not reveal his name publicly. And I can’t guarantee he’ll talk about himself. But he’s got a lifetime of stories you’d be interested in.

    Reply
    • oliver
      December 4, 2019, 3:39 pm

      Hey Richard,

      Thanks for sharing this! That’s pretty fascinating. We aren’t currently accepting content submissions, but maybe we’ll be able to get in touch in the new year.

      Wishing you the best,
      Oliver

      Reply