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Abraham Lincoln's Voice

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

November 7, 2012

Comments (6)

Abraham Lincoln's face, Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C.Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is giving voice to one of America's greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

According to many sources, Day-Lewis' interpretation of Lincoln, from head to toe, is astoundingly accurate, including the presentation and register of Lincoln's voice.

A far cry from our culture's perception of the man known more for his words than anything else, Lincoln's voice is a classic example of how it's not about the voice but how you use it.

Learn more in today's VOX Daily.

Honest Abe

Joe J. ThomasWhat did Abraham Lincoln sound like?

According to voice actor, Joe J. Thomas (pictured at left), most people have a preconceived notion of what Abraham Lincoln sounded like based upon Disney films and animatronics.

Historically, Lincoln's voice was described as "shrill, squeaking, piping, unpleasant," which is a far cry from the baritone statesman we've come to expect.

When accurately creating a voice for someone like Abraham Lincoln, you need to go back to historical archives and firsthand accounts.

Lincoln, which was scheduled to open in theatres around election time, was postponed by Steven Spielberg and will be widely released on November 16, 2012.

Daniel Day-Lewis' Lincoln

What Do You Think Of Abraham Lincoln's Voice?

Does Daniel Day-Lewis' performance reflect the Lincoln you were expecting to hear? Do you plan to see the film? Let me know!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,


Related Topics: Disney, YouTube


    You can be absolutely certain that no one on the planet knows more about Abraham Lincoln now than Daniel Day-Lewis. You can be certain that what you see and hear onscreen is as close to seeing the real Lincoln as humanly possible today. Having the privilege to see him on and off set, he is as Lincoln was. As a matter of fact, even though filming wrapped almost a year ago, and he is home, he is probably STILL Abraham Lincoln.

    Posted by:

      I agree with Bob, though it was certainly disconcerting to hear at first. I think it might be initially off-putting for a lot of viewers, but I'm certain that as the movie goes along, DDL's performance and Spielberg's filmmaking will do away with any complaints of that nature.

      Posted by:
      • Stacy Carson
      • November 8, 2012 10:28 AM

        My recollections of "hearing" Lincoln's voice go back to when I heard Copeland's "A Lincoln Portrait" for the first time, when Charlton Heston was the narrator. (Now, there WAS a voice!) This great work has been performed by many great orchestras over the years. Narrators have included James Earl Jones, the statesman Adlai Stevenson and others whom I can't recall. The most unusual narrator for this work was when it was recorded by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops and they chose Katherine Hepburn. She was very elderly at that time and, while her narration sounded quite frail, she still conveyed the majesty of Lincoln's words

        Posted by:
        • William Moore
        • November 8, 2012 1:07 PM

          Oh yes! Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis? I'm in!

          Posted by:

            Day-Lewis is one of the most amazing actors of this, or any age. The man spends so much time in research that he very nearly becomes the character he portrays. He spent weeks with linguists to perfect Bill the Butcher's unique accent in Gangs of New York. Everything I have read about Mr. Lincoln (my favorite figure of American history) tells me that Daniel has nailed it again.

            Posted by:
            • Ed Thompson
            • November 8, 2012 10:57 PM

              An all-star cast and creative team working on a refreshingly legit piece of non-3D material? Count me in!

              Posted by:
              • Allyson Briggs
              • November 8, 2012 10:58 PM

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