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Judith Gibbins

Evolution of Lara Croft plots the meteoric rise to fame of Judith Gibbins.

Evolution Of Lara Croft
EVOLUTION OF LARA CROFT

THE VOICE OF LARA - JUDITH GIBBINS

The person behind the voice of Lara Croft is Judith Gibbins. Originally from Derbyshire she had no idea how big the Tomb Raider series would be. Judith, 36, doesn't have much in common with her other half, Lara Croft.

Lara has guns and runs people over with a snowmobile, while Judith drives a Ford Sierra and her best weapon is her wit. Judith, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, preserves Lara's image by never making a personal appearance.

"The following in the US is incredible," she said. "People believe she exists. In Atlanta I did a voice-calibrated question-and-answer session, with me sitting behind a screen showing a digital image of Lara. The most common questions were 'Will you marry me?' and 'Can I have a date?'"

Judith had a limited script in the earlier versions of the game, her biggest line probably being the phrase most feared by devotees: "No, that's not right. Go back to the beginning and try again."

But she has much more to say in Tomb Raider III, which features lengthy dialogue sequences between each of its 21 levels. Core Design spokesman, Susie Hamilton said: "We wanted an upper-class accent with character, a strong but sweet voice. Judith's was just right."

While her 11-year-old son David attempts to master Lara's moves on his Playstation, Judith still has a tough time proving her Lara link. "She has such a sexy image that people don't believe me when I say I'm her," she said. "I have to say something to convince them. 'Go back to the beginning and try again' has become a party-piece."

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