Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

GTA Actors Who Have Sadly Passed Away

Considering it's massive success, it's perhaps unsurprising to learn that Rockstar's "Grand Theft Auto" franchise has spared little expense in bringing its stories to life, featuring many talented voice actors front-and-center. With tons of main characters and NPCs populating its crime-filled cities, "GTA" wouldn't feel the same without its dedicated voice cast. Ranging from major mainstream celebrities to video game voice acting veterans, "GTA" has boasted arguably some of the most diverse casts in gaming. At times, Rockstar has even hired untraditional voice actors for important roles, including musicians and TV personalities.


Sadly, with such a large cast, we have lost a number of talented members who have lent their voices to the series at one point or another. Whether these voice actors played fan favorites or background characters, all of these performers will be sorely missed. Here is a list of just some of the many "GTA" cast members who have passed away.

Tom Sizemore

On March 3, 2023, Tom Sizemore passed away following a brain aneurysm. Tom Sizemore was well-known for roles in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Twin Peaks," as well as for his voiceover work as Sonny Forelli in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" (a game he never got around to playing). As one of the primary antagonists of "Vice City," Tom Sizemore gave a performance that captured the classic mob boss aesthetic perfectly.


As news of his passing spread, Rockstar Games paid tribute to Tom Sizemore in a post on X (formerly Twitter). Alongside a picture of his character, Rockstar stated, "Tom Sizemore's effortless cool and phenomenal character work was an inspiration to all of us here at Rockstar Games long before his star performance as Sonny Forelli in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Rest In Peace, Tom." Not every voice actor has received a tribute like this from Rockstar, illustrating the lasting impact that Tom Sizemore has left on both "Vice City" and the "GTA" series as a whole.


Chris Penn

Chris Penn, brother of Sean and Michael Penn, sadly passed away in 2006. In "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," he provided the voice of C.R.A.S.H officer Eddie Pulaski. Oddly enough, this wasn't the first time the actor had played an iconic Eddie, as he also played "Nice Guy" Eddie in Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs." Chris Penn's prior acting roles perfectly prepared him to play the cowardly-yet-aggressive and corrupt officer, and many players still have his line deliveries burnt into their heads — especially the more desperate ones from the "High Noon" mission. 


His passing left many fans distraught, with many swarming to YouTube videos of his performance as Eddie Pulaski soon after. Here, many of these fans left their condolences with messages like "RIP Chris Penn" and even "Rest in Peace Nice Guy Eddie." Although many still associate him with his role in "Reservoir Dogs," Penn's performance in "GTA" stands as a great reminder that his career was much more varied than some might have given him credit for. 

Oni Faida Lampley

Oni Faida Lampley was an accomplished actor and an award-winning playwright. On television, she appeared on celebrated shows like "The Sopranos" and in five different episodes in the "Law & Order" franchise. She was also featured in "Grand Theft Auto 4," in which she voiced Weazel News reporter Callista Brown. This character was never explored in-depth during the game's campaign, but fans have fond memories of checking out the satirical reports from Weazel News. In the comments section of a Weazel News compilation, one player commended Rockstar for "[caring] so much about little things like in-game news." Lampley's performance was an unforgettable part of this fake news channel's success, reading dozens of reports with a hilariously straight-laced delivery.


Tragically, Oni Faida Lampley passed away on April 28, 2008 — one day before the release of "GTA 4" — after a long battle with breast cancer. Her performance in the Weazel News reports is still recognized by fans as one of the best pieces of "GTA" world-building. 

Frank Vincent

Actor, musician, and frequent Martin Scorsese collaborator Frank Vincent passed away on September 13, 2017. The actor suffered a heart attack and died during open-heart surgery. In the "GTA" series, Vincent played Don Salvatore Leone in "Grand Theft Auto 3," "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," and "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.


As many fans have noted, Frank Vincent's classic mob boss acting made him the perfect fit for a character like Salvatore Leone. Frank Vincent's life philosophy, which he imparted during an interview with Ask Men (via The Guardian), also made him a natural match for this character: "You have got to have a good sense of humor, you have got to be tough and you have got to know how to dress." It was a difficult moment for fans to lose such a massive part of the "GTA" series, but his legacy will live on in this amazing trilogy of games.

Keith 'Guru' Elam

After a lengthy bout with cancer, the rapper Keith "Guru" Elam passed away in 2010. Besides his music career and status as a hip-hop legend (as one-half of Gang Starr), Guru notably played 8-Ball in "Grand Theft Auto 3," and "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories." On a YouTube video posting some of 8-Ball's voice lines, fans have paid their condolences, reminiscing both about his time in "GTA" and his music career. One fan said, "I was just listening to Gang Starr's 'Mass Appeal,' RIP Guru."


Rockstar also paid tribute to the deceased musician with a post released on the company's website. In the blog, Rockstar called attention to his excellent and valued performance as 8-Ball: "Our condolences to the entire Elam family, to our good friend and his long-time Gang Starr collaborator DJ Premier, and to everyone else who had the pleasure of knowing or working with the man. Rest in peace." 

Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper, a popular actor and director, passed away in 2010. He lent his voice to "GTA" with adult film director Steve Scott in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." Although Dennis Hopper has fallen into some controversy over the years, his performance in "Vice City" is still remembered fondly as a hilarious and memorable addition to the game. Being an iconic actor outside of "GTA," fans have chalked up this performance as another example of "Classic Dennis Hopper," combining both comedic arrogance and smooth talking. 


In a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at "Vice City," Hopper participated in an interview with fellow members of the game's star-studded cast. He reminisced about buying a copy of "GTA" for his son and having a run-in with a sales clerk. He laughed while recounting the conversation: "'Are you buying this?' 'Yeah, I'm buying this for my son.' 'Are you sure you want your son to see this?'" From this anecdote alone, fans can see how naturally gifted Dennis Hopper was with both storytelling and his uniquely comedic cadence. These factors are exactly what made Steve Scott such a memorable character in "Vice City."

George DiCenzo

On August 9, 2010, actor George DiCenzo died of sepsis at the age of 70. Aside from appearing in beloved films like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Back to the Future," George DiCenzo's voice also became recognizable after being heard in "Batman: The Animated Series," where he played Harvey Bullock. George DiCenzo also joined the crew at Rockstar when he voiced Earnest Kelly in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." Although this character only had a supporting role in "Vice City," many still fondly remember Earnest as an interesting addition to the game, particularly due to his antagonistic attitude towards Lance Vance.


Much like Chris Penn, George DiCenzo's performance in "GTA" is a bit less recognized than his other appearances. However, this also feels like a testament to the varied voice acting performances that he has given over the years. From "GTA" to "Batman" to "She-Ra," George DiCenzo truly enjoyed an amazingly diverse voiceover career.

Doris Belack

Doris Belack was famous to audiences for appearing as Judge Margaret Barry across two different "Law & Order" programs before her death on October 4, 2011, as well as for her roles in daytime television and in the Oscar-nominated film "Tootsie." She also played Maureen McReary, the elderly matriarch of the McReary family, in "Grand Theft Auto 4." Although Maureen isn't the most important character to the series, the McReary family as a whole definitely left an impression on the "GTA" community through their pivotal and emotional role in the game's story. 


This wasn't the only video game that Doris Belack would work on, either. The actress also lent her voice to "True Crime: New York City," a game that has often been compared to the "GTA" franchise. Sadly, "GTA 4" would end up being Doris Belack's last acting credit in any capacity. 

Robert Loggia

Robert Loggia, an actor recognizable from films like "Over the Top" and "Independence Day," passed away on December 4, 2015. Over the course of a prolific career, Robert Loggia garnered many accolades and award nominations, including winning a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the movie "Big." Although many of the actors so far have been from more recent entries of the "GTA" series, Robert Loggia got in on the series in the early days, playing Ray Machowski in "Grand Theft Auto 3." 


However, his video game voice acting credits don't end there. Robert Loggia also appeared in 1999's "Freespace 2" and 2006's "Scarface: The World Is Yours," reprising his role as Frank Lopez from the original 1983 film. In fact, Robert Loggia actually appeared alongside many other "GTA" voice actors in "Scarface: The World Is Yours," including Robert Davi, James Woods, Ice-T, Michael Rapaport, and Ricky Gervais — an oddly star-studded cast for a video game movie tie-in.

Youree Dell Harris

Youree Dell Harris, also known as "Miss Cleo," famously hosted a psychic pay-per-call service. She voiced Auntie Poulet, the leader of the Haitian street gang, in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." Overall, the character was a perfect fit for the pretend psychic, as it was very similar to her usual TV personality. However, this likeness would land Rockstar into some hot water.


Interestingly, long after the release of "Vice City," the company that owns the character of Miss Cleo attempted to sue for using her likeness in the "GTA" game — in 2017. Apparently, Auntie Poulet was too similar to Miss Cleo for PRN's liking, leading to a lawsuit 15 years down the line, shortly after Youree Dell Harris' death. Nothing seems to have come from this case in the end, but the timing was truly bizarre, especially given the fact that the then-most-recent release of the game arrived in 2013, long before the lawsuit was filed.

John Berger

John Berger was a famous critic and novelist who also lent his voice to the "GTA" series. Although he generally stayed outside the realm of acting, he voiced major antagonist Albert Crisp in "Grand Theft Auto: London 1969" and "GTA: London 1961." Albert Crisp. Though not the obvious choice to join a video game series at that point in his career (especially since the series wasn't known for stunt casting just yet), Berger delivered a menacing and memorable performance as the game's main antagonist.


Rockstar also posted a tribute to the late actor after his passing, noting his accomplishments and his work in "GTA." Here, the company specifically mentioned how strange and wonderful it was to have him appear in a "GTA" game at all. Rockstar posted, "Berger's secret cameo was a radical departure from his own impressive body of work including multiple novels, plays and whose '70s TV show 'Ways of Seeing' helped audiences look at classical paintings from a new perspective."

Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta was an award-winning actor who appeared in movies like "Goodfellas" and "Field of Dreams" before passing away in 2022 at the age of 67. As many know, he also voiced the protagonist Tommy Vercetti in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" — one of only two video game roles on his resume. Liotta and fellow "Vice City" lead Tom Sizemore passed away within a few months of each other, leaving fans of the game distraught over both losses.


Ray Liotta once talked about his part in "Vice City" during an interview on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," where he explained that he was not a gamer himself.As such, he was surprised by the reach that his performance and the game itself enjoyed. When asked about his feelings regarding the game's popularity, Liotta explained, "I was never the 'Pac-Man' guy when that came out ... but [GTA's] huge." Despite the small number of game roles he played, Liotta's fans regarded his "Vice City" performance to be an excellent showcase of his acting chops and the diversity of his voice. As one fan noted, "Tommy Vercetti sounds nothing like Liotta in 'GoodFellas' and it's only a 12 year difference. It's pretty amazing."


Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy, older brother of Eddie Murphy, passed away in 2017. Charlie Murphy rose to popularity as a stand-up comic and actor in both live-action and animation, voicing characters for shows such as "The Boondocks" and starring in his own feature segment on Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show." In each case, he delighted audiences with his range as a storyteller and actor. 


In the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise, Charlie Murphy voiced rapper J***y B in "GTA: San Andreas." When Murphy passed away, fans of "San Andreas" looked back fondly on his character and his memorable dialogue. Who could forget Murphy shouting the protagonist's name with an excited "Mr C-to-the-J?'" 

Outside of "GTA," Charlie Murphy only lent his voice to one other game, 2006's "Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure." This game, although lesser-known nowadays, also included fellow "GTA" voice actors such as Andy Dick in the cast, making it a curiosity for "GTA" fans.

Burt Reynolds

Film fans no doubt know Burt Reynolds — star of "The Longest Yard" and "Smokey and the Bandit" — from his lengthy film career, but the celebrity also appeared in the "GTA" series. Namely, he played Avery Carrington in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." Carrington felt of a piece with Burt Reynolds' tough guy image from his movie career, to the point where the character somewhat resembled him in real life. This ultimately made Avery Carrington feel alive and natural in the game, especially for Reynolds' fans. Although the final product that came out of Burt Reynold's voice acting was amazing, the behind-the-scenes process was a completely different story.


Apparently, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser found it difficult to deal with some of the series' celebrity voice actors, including Burt Reynolds. Houser revealed to Vulture that the two had once gotten into a heated argument, ending with Reynolds eventually yelling at Houser, "Get the limey out of here." After this, Houser and the rest of Rockstar would be a bit more resistant in using celebrity voices for "GTA" games, instead choosing to focus on talent over notoriety.