Impressionist and voice actor Rich Little is still a household name at the age of 78. Presently, he’s busy impersonating celebrities and political figures on his live show, Rick Little Live, in Las Vegas. In a 2013 interview with Forbes, Little said, “I do both singing and talking impressions…and think I could do around 200 if I was put to the test.”
Little has several popular voices that have defined his career. Former American presidents such as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama...Little has mimicked them all. He even made appearances at both of Ronald Reagan’s inaugurations.
In the 1970s, Little was regularly seen on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, where he imitated the likes of Don Rickles, Jack Benny, Jimmy Stewart, Kirk Douglas, and Frank Sinatra. It took Little seven years to get the voice of Sinatra right.
Among Little’s favorite voices is that of late-night TV king Johnny Carson. He impersonated Carson many occasions including a roast on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts in 1973 and even portrayed him in the 1996 HBO film The Late Shift. Little has also mastered the voices of actors such as Jack Lemmon, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone and Jack Nicholson.
According to Little, knowing patterns and mannerisms is more important than knowing the subject personally.