Larry Moss, dialect coach, as well as diction and acting tutor for many in Hollywood, died at his home in Santa Monica on Feb. 19. He was 83.
Moss prepped hundreds of film, television and theater actors for challenging roles. He was a master at accents with an ability to imitate not only dialects but the voices of many great actors, including Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. This gift extended to helping others with the various aspects of creative choices relating to voice and expressions of a character.
Moss was also an actor himself who voiced character and dialect roles in more than 300 films, appearing himself in some of them. He did half of the male character voices in one of the “Pippi Longstocking” films.
Moss taught his special abilities as a university-level lecturer and in private workshops; he also presided over ESL classes at Los Angeles City College. He frequently taught at the annual SAG summer conservatory event and co-taught workshops with Mel Blanc, who famously voiced Bugs Bunny. His dialect coaching also took him to the Pasadena Playhouse and to the Los Angeles Music Center.
Born in the Bronx, Moss joined the U.S. Army after graduating from high school and was stationed at Fort Myer, Va. Sometime after ending his military service, Moss enjoyed an extended stay in England, where he immersed himself in the study of the various British accents. He attended the University of Texas, working as a DJ at a local radio station in Austin. His interest in a film career eventually brought him to California and to Hollywood. He studied dialects at Cal State Los Angeles, where he received a master’s in speech correction. He was also at one time news director at KPFK radio.
Moss was actively working until recent months.
Survivors include his longtime companion Sabrina Good; three daughters; and three grandsons.
His ashes will be buried in New York with his two predeceased brothers.
A celebration of his life will be held on March 22 at 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, 1260 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404.
Donations may be made to the Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St. NW, Washington, DC 20037.