When I heard today that Makoto "Mako" Iwamatsu (Uncle Iroh's voice actor) passed away from cancer, as I heard from [link]
I wasn't fully prepared for the news and was shocked, and then it seeped in... jeez.
For me it feels, like perhaps a vital part of Iroh's character may have left with him, because Mako gave a lot of wisdom, warmth, spirit and humor into Iroh's voice since he first appeared in "Boy in the Iceberg" up to "The Desert". What this means for Iroh himself , I don't know, but I do know that it could not take away what he is as a character. I will have faith that the staff can find someone who can carry Iroh's emotion once again. But Mako will be missed. My sympathies go out to Mr Iwamatsu's family and friends.
I also wish I could have been more familiar of Mako's other roles in movies and theater (besides the ones I know of with in his voice acting roles in animation) and how as a great Asian American actor in the business he was representin' us.
People have probably done something like this already, and I'm probably just being repetitive in what has already been said and/or drawn >o<; , but, I don't know, It's kind of like the same bittersweet sadness I felt when Ollie Johnson (a veteran Disney Animator that I greatly admired) and Pat Morita passed away and I wanted to put it into the only way I know how to do.
Though I know that the VA and the character are not the same person, I still want the both to be at peace and happiness in the end. and though I haven't drawn something that expresses direct mourning, I honestly just want to wish him farewell, and to be at rest. Where things shine and are calm.
Uncle Iroh (c) to Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender"