Chris Ayres, voice of Dragon Ball’s Frieza, dead at 56

Chris Ayres, best known for playing Frieza in the animated Dragon Ball series, died Monday, his girlfriend said. He was 56.

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Ayres’ death was announced on Twitter by his girlfriend and fellow actor, Krystal LaPorte, Entertainment Weekly reported. Ayres had more than 200 voice acting credits on his resume, the website reported.

“Chris loved you all,” LaPorte said in a statement she shared on her Twitter account. “How much he loved other people filled the vast majority of our conversations. To those of you who truly loved him back, thank you. To those of you who stayed in touch, checked on him, reminded him that he was so, so much more than his job, you were the fuel of his fight. You fed the dreams of a future that kept him going longer than any normal person could go.”

Ayres was diagnosed with end-stage cardio obstructive pulmonary disease in 2017, Entertainment Weekly reported. He needed a double-lung transplant, according to Screen Rant. Ayres shared updates on his health issues on social media, including his hospital stays and surgeries.

LaPorte did not reference a cause of death in her statement, but said that “I hope where you are, the first thing you did was take a long, deep breath with your perfect lungs and danced again.”

Ayres took on the role of Frieza in the “Dragon Ball” series after joining Funimation’s “Dragon Ball Z Kai” in 2009, according to Screen Rant. He remained as part of the franchise, ending with the “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” movie in 2018, the website reported.

Ayres also was involved in several other anime shows during his career, including “Maburaho,” “Black Butler,” “Sengoku Basara,” “Gantz,” “Tears to Tiara,” “Fairy Tail” and “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

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