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100 Years Ago Today: The Voice of E.T.

Getty Images / Universal

Pat Welsh brought E.T. to life with her unforgettable voice.

Somewhere along the road to adulthood, most of us figured out the sad truth (spoiler alert for anyone who's still clinging especially hard to their childhood): E.T., the Extra Terrestrial, wasn't a real alien.

It was Steven Spielberg's movie magic that brought us E.T., a combination of puppets, animatronics, and real people in costume. But what really made us love E.T. was his voice.

"E.T. phone home" was a catchphrase that seemed to last and last, and his final "Be good" touched our hearts. Bringing that voice to life was actress Pat Welsh, who was born 100 years ago today on Feb. 11, 1915.

Welsh's two-pack-a-day smoking habit gave E.T. his characteristically raspy tone. The movie's sound designer heard her talking while they were both in a camera store, was charmed by her unusual voice and asked her to audition; the rest was cinematic history.

The following year, Welsh provided the voice of bounty hunter Boushh in "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi."

Welsh was 97 when she died Jan. 26, 1995, in Green Valley, Arizona.