As word spread of famed voice actor Rick May death, many fans went in-game to make sure that his memory lives on. Team Fortress 2 players came together to celebrate and remember the voice actor after news circulated that he had died due to complications from COVID-19. May was 79 years old.
Using TF2’s built-in emotes, a whole host of Soldiers performed the character’s 21 Gun Salute taunt in unison to send May off in their own special way.
Since his death, many fans of the voice actor’s work have found creative ways to honor May. Both Twitter and Reddit are full of players saying goodbye to May. Out of all of them, however, one personal goodbye strikes home. A Twitter user by the name of Alex C. posted this video of May wishing them a happy birthday in 2018.
“Keep playing the game, and Happy. Damn. Birthday,” May says in Solider’s iconic, gravely voice.
Many learned of May’s death from the Rekindle School, an independent theatre and arts school located in Seattle, Washington. The school posted an announcement of May’s death on their website. May had taught at Rekindle for almost 10 years. The actor also held a position at the University of Washington.
May voiced numerous video game characters over the years, including Genghis Khan in Age of Empires 2 and Peppy Hare in Star Fox 64. May had suffered a stroke in February before being moved to a nursing home in Washington state where it is thought he was exposed to the virus.
Several of May’s colleagues took to social media to remember the voice actor. One such person was John Patrick Lowrie, the voice of TF2’s Sniper.
“I knew the man who was always encouraging when I had my bout with cancer. I knew the man whose passing leaves a huge hole in my heart and I believe so many others,” Lowrie said on Facebook.
Washington State has been among the hardest hit areas in the United States with over 10,000 confirmed cases. There are over 2 million total cases worldwide, with over 600,000 of them located in the United States. Doctors advise that social distancing measures and frequent hand washing can prevent the spread of COVID-19, a virus that can cause severe respiratory illness.