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Paul Haddad, the actor who brought one of horror gaming’s most iconic characters to life, died on Saturday, April 11, at age 56. Haddad was a prolific voice actor in television, but his most lasting role was originating the character of Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 2.
Leon, the rookie cop who co-leads the horror franchise’s second outing, reappeared in the franchise to lead the fan-favorite Resident Evil 4 and co-lead Resident Evil 6. Voiced by other actors in these appearances, Haddad was only behind Kennedy in his first appearance — but his calm demeanor and heroic wherewithal throughout that living hell ingratiated him with gamers around the world.
Nick Apostolides, Leon's voice actor in Resident Evil 2's remake, posted a tribute to the actor:
Haddad’s vast TV roles included X-Men: The Animated Series’ Quicksilver, Monster Force’s Wolfman, and appearances on The Adventures of Tintin. His final performance will be a character in the Resident Evil-inspired horror game Daymare: 1998.
Invader Studios, the company behind Daymare: 1998, confirmed Haddad’s death:
“Paul Haddad, our dear friend and an icon among the RE community, has passed away recently,” the statement reads. “We've been truly honored to have the chance to meet and work with such a great man and a brilliant professional that he was. Rest in peace Paul... You will live forever in our hearts.”
Haddad's official obituary, printed in the Toronto Star, cites the cause of death as a "brief and unexpected illness."