Chris Ayres, the voice of Dragon Ball's Frieza has passed away at the age of 56. Actor Krystal LaPorte revealed the news on Twitter with an emotional post noting that Ayres had passed away on October 18th surrounded by family and loved ones. In an emotional message, LaPorte stated the following, "Chris loved you all. 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 had long been notably struggling from COPD, and had revealed to fans earlier this year that he was readying for another series of daunting surgeries and had stated to fans that he had made it out of surgery successfully. Fans had unfortunately been fully aware of the fight Ayres had to constantly face, and if you wanted to read LaPorte's full statement on Ayres' passing you can find it below as shared through the actor's official Twitter account:
Ayres had taken over the role of Frieza in the Dragon Ball series following joining Funimation's dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai. Ever since, he had been a part of the franchise and continued through Dragon Ball Super's entire anime run that had ended with the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie. Ayres had been diagnosed with end stage COPD (cardio obstructive pulmonary disease) back in 2017 and required a double lung transplant. Ayres had been unfortunately struggling with the disease as a result for the last few years but powered through with many statements and updates to fans.
Ayres not only has had a major impact on the Dragon Ball franchise as the voice of Freeza, but has also provided a number of anime performances over the years such as Kei Kurono in Gantz, Corset in Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt, Everlue in Fairy Tail and many, many more from across a prominent career. Chris Ayres will truly be missed by fans and loved ones dearly, and we extend deep condolences to Ayres family, friends, and loved ones at this time as the anime world mourns quite the significant loss.