Christopher Harlan

photoChristopher Kirk Harlan, devoted husband, loving father, son and brother, friend for life, commercial voice talent extraordinaire, Cub fan, Packer fanatic and all-around great guy everyone loved hanging with, left this earth on January 12th, 2013 from his home in Key West, Florida. Chris was born April 20th, 1950 to Fred and Rosemary Harlan in Lincoln, Nebraska, the second of two sons. It was here he developed his love of corn. Later, as a youngster in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chris fell in with a crowd of Green Bay 'Packer Backers' where he was irrevocably changed and Paul Hornung and Fuzzy Thurston became role models, of sorts. The Harlans landed in Indianapolis where Chris attended Arlington High School and realized he had an innate ability to make people laugh and feel good. Indiana University followed and after leaving Bloomington he landed a job as a recording engineer and helped establish Tapemasters as the premiere recording studio in Indianapolis. Some classes at Chicago's Second City helped steer Chris to what became his ultimate career calling; that of a character actor in the world of radio and television voice over. After realizing that voice work was easier on his back than cutting and splicing tape all day, Chris moved his considerable vocal skills to Chicago. It was here that the ad community embraced him and his unique talents and for most of the 1990's and early 2000's, Chris was one of a select group of voice talents who dominated the commercial airwaves. Among his clients were Kellogg's, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Corona Beer, Jeep and State Farm Insurance. It was also here he met his wife, Linda Bernasconi, at the talent agency Linda Jack. Chris was a very generous, fun-loving guy. He would rarely let you take out your wallet and he could squeeze more good times and joy out of any situation than just about anyone on the planet. His wit and observational humor knew no bounds. His timing was impeccable. He made any gathering a little looser and a lot more spirited. Sailing was his prayer, the ocean his church. In 2000, Chris semi-retired to the Florida Keys with Linda but wisely spent the hurricane season in Chicago. He is survived by his mother, Rosemary, his brother Michael, three wonderful children, Abby, Mark and Carrie and his wife and love, Linda. The world is a little less amusing, goofy and fun with Chris's passing. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. Plans for a loud memorial are being formulated.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 20, 2013