R.I.P. Ken Hiller, narrator of NPR’s Star Wars

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    The omniscient narrator of NPR’s radio version of Star Wars is now one with the Force. [LINK]

    By the time Ken Hiller was asked to narrate George Lucas’ “Star Wars” trilogy for National Public Radio in 1981, he had already voiced hundreds of commercials across the country. But the broadcast, which set listening records for the network — 750,000 people tuned in — cemented his national profile.

    “People in the industry wanted him to move to L.A., but he wanted to raise his children in the Twin Cities,” said Marge Morton Hiller, his widow.

    A voice-over artist who worked as a disc jockey, studio engineer, radio narrator and in-demand adman from the 1970s through the 1990s, Hiller died July 13 in Gulf Breeze, Fla. He was 77.

    “His voice was stunning,” said Shirley Venard, veteran voice-over artist, actor and teacher who worked with Hiller. “He smoked, as we all did in those years, so there was a tiny raspiness in his sound, which was rich, warm and inviting.”

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