The Documentary You Never Knew Morgan Freeman Narrated

There's only one Morgan Freeman. With over 100 acting credits to his name, alongside a handful of directing and producing roles, too, he has more than made his mark on the industry during his lengthy and celebrated career — although, shockingly, he only has one Oscar to date. It took a long time for Hollywood to recognize Freeman's greatness, with The Hollywood Reporter pointing out that his breakout film role, in "Street Smart," came about when the actor was almost 50.

The "Shawshank Redemption" star was well-known for treading the boards and working in television before blockbuster parts in the likes of "Deep Impact" came along. The famously chill actor doesn't see it that way, though. 

Freeman admitted, "I've had moments when I wished my career had gotten started earlier. I could have done more active stuff. But I'm also grateful that it got started when it did because there are no guarantees. It didn't have to get started at all."

These days, of course, there's no denying Freeman's icon status. When asked by Interview magazine how he feels about his trajectory, the prolific performer responded simply: "Ecstatic. It couldn't be better." One of his most beloved roles, however, doesn't even show Freeman onscreen.

Only one man could capture the majesty of emperor penguins

When it came to showcasing the elaborate mating ritual of emperor penguins in the harsh environs of the South Pole for "March of the Penguins," documentary filmmaker Luc Jacquet turned to Morgan Freeman. Decider notes that the actor is a particularly popular narrator because of his "iconic vocal timbre and well-timed humor." Likewise, Freeman's irresistible enthusiasm while watching the penguins makes him an ideal fit for the material.

IndieWire confirmed that the actor returned for the sequel, noting in its review that the "familiar, soothing baritone of Morgan Freeman's narration in the opening minutes ... tells you everything you need to know about what's to come." Indeed, when it came to the original, "Freeman's gentler, benevolent intonations for the English-language version turned the movie into a cultural phenomenon," so it was a no-brainer bringing the beloved actor back for round two.

As the Arizona Daily Star memorably put it in its review of "March of the Penguins," "Morgan Freeman should be movieland's all-time narrator." He has turned his attention elsewhere, in fact, with Freeman notably narrating an audiobook, too.

Morgan Freeman worked hard to perfect his speaking voice

Morgan Freeman might have one of the most recognizable voices in the industry, but he wasn't actually born with it. During an appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," the actor clarified, "It's not a natural gift at all." Moreover, as Freeman argued, "I don't think that any voice is a natural gift. Someone helps you get it." 

O'Brien was shocked, wondering what Freeman's original voice sounded like. He revealed, "It was high. I had a very thick Southern accent. I was raised in Mississippi." Freeman went on to recall how he studied under an esteemed vocal coach while attending Los Angeles City College, working to move down his natural register.

As Freeman learned, "Most people talk a bit higher than their normal [voice]." Naturally, it worked out well for him, since everybody knows Freeman's voice now. As actor Frank Grillo, who worked alongside him in "Paradise Highway," put it during an exclusive interview with The List, "Watching Morgan Freeman, it's no joke that he played God because when he's there, his presence is godlike, and to hear him speak, it puts you in another dimension."