Lorenzo Music (born Gerald David Music; May 2, 1937 - August 4, 2001) was an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer and musician, best known as the original voice of Garfield. He was selected when they were looking to animate Garfield. Jim Davis stated, "I looked into the room full of actors and there was Lorenzo; quietly licking himself." Music also co-wrote Garfield on the Town with Davis.
A common trait associated with Music is that he was almost never seen on camera. This was often due to the fact that publicity photographs often showed Music in a recording studio with the back of his head shown. Music had played upon that image, although he did reveal his image in autographed pictures of him with Garfield. One of the last jobs he had done before his death was as a pitchman for Ruggles Ice Cream, and was shown in TV commercials where his face was clearly visible.
Music's deep, slow voice was distinctive and became associated with Garfield. Other voice acting credits he had done was as Sergeant Dunder on Tale Spin and Tummi on Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears. For a long time, Music would do volunteer work once a week for a suicide help hotline. He had recalled a few callers would turn from desperation to surprise or humor upon hearing him talk with callers making comments, such as, "I lost my job... my wife just ran off with another man... hey, you sound just like Garfield from TV!". Following the series retirement of Garfield and Friends, Music retired from voice acting (save for Garfield), although he would contribute small parts in TV shows in the 1990s. Music had also participated in public service announcements as Larry, one of two animatronic crash test dummies who implored people to use seat belts in commercials with the tagline "You Can Learn a Lot from a Dummy."
On August 4, 2001, Music died of lung and bone cancer. Jim Davis and the Garfield producers commented on how Music was an important part of Garfield history and his death was a huge loss for the Garfield universe. In accordance with Lorenzo Music's last wishes, his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean. He is survived by his wife, Henrietta, and their four children. His daughter Rozalyn is a makeup artist, and has worked on films such as Adaptation and The Virgin Suicides.
- Garfield (all)
- Billy Buddy Bear (1st time)
- Zizzabottawaddawaddaboinkboinkfreebians (Rip Van Kitty)
- Arbuckle Vespucci's Cat (It Must Be True!)
- Gnome (Crime and Nourishment)
- Buchanan (Astrocat)
- The Lasagna Kid
- Police Driver (Mistakes Will Happen)
- Cicero (The Great Inventor)
- The Pied Piper (The Pie-Eyed Piper)
- Enchanted Cat
- Music provided the voice of Peter Venkman in The Real Ghostbusters for the first season. After hearing of Music's death, Bill Murray (who portrayed Peter Venkman in the Ghostbusters films) voiced Garfield in the live-action films out of respect.