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The Oscars don’t have a host this year, but this woman is once again the show’s voice

An Oscar statue is pictured at the press preview for the 91st Academy Awards Governors Ball, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles.
An Oscar statue is pictured at the press preview for the 91st Academy Awards Governors Ball, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Oscars watchers won’t see her, but they will hear her over and over again during the 2019 show — and her voice will be familiar to viewers who have caught the ceremony before.

For the 10th time, Randy Thomas is the announcer for the Academy Awards, CTV News reports. That means Thomas is the woman whose clear, articulate voice over will glue the ceremony together. Before award-presenters can start announcing nominees, it’s Thomas who announces the presenters themselves — and once the presenters say which nominee is the winner, it’s Thomas who gives viewers background on the award-winner.

“I try to channel in my most elegant, rich tones. I move into a more projected voice,” Thomas said of her Oscars voice, according to CTV. “I don’t really think about how I’m going to say it, as much as making sure the words come out properly.”

Thomas explained that a script supervisor sits next to her to make sure she reads the description of the nominee who won the award after each winner is announced, CTV reports.

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“We listen together, when they say ‘and the Oscar goes to,’ she points and that’s the walk-up that I read,” Thomas said, according to CTV.

Thomas first voiced the show in 1993 and was the first woman announcer in history. She commented on the importance of breaking down that barrier in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year, before her ninth time as the Oscars voice over artist.

“I didn’t really appreciate the significance that it had taken 65 years for a woman to be placed behind the microphone of the Academy Awards. It didn’t occur to me that it should have happened a long time ago,” Thomas said, according to the Times. “I was just grateful to be there. The 1993 Oscars was ‘The Year of the Woman’ — if you recall, we had 67 past female winners together [for a group photo]. It was an incredible year, and it was really an honor to be a part of that.”

Sports fans might recognize her voice as well: Thomas has done voice overs at the Super Bowl three times, according to her personal website, as well as at the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards and “Entertainment Tonight” episodes for more than a decade.

Thomas also is the voice of the news program “Nightline,” ABC reports — where she uses a markedly different voice than the one Oscars fans are accustomed to.

“I just feel that my voice is very at home in a news environment,” Thomas told ABC. “I like doing things that have been traditionally done by men up until I get in the room.”

Thomas started off as a radio host in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Detroit before moving on to voice overs, according to the biography on her website.

Thomas appeared to be having fun before Sunday’s award show, posting a selfie — with her at left — from the red carpet on her Twitter account.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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