Attention Ms. Singer, Or Should I Call You… McLain

It has become my sole mission to get Valve’s super voice-over champion, professional soprano Ellen McLain, to have her name spelt correctly anywhere on the internet.

We love you Ellen!

The wonderful McLain voices Half-Life 2 and Episode 1’s Overwatch, the omnipresent stern British announcer lady in Team Fortress 2, and is the voice of GLaDOS (and the gorgeous turrets) in Portal. And the singer of That Song! She’s the greatest hero of our time.

Yet despite this, everywhere calls her “Ellen McLane”.

Well, I’ve had my first victory. The Internet Movie Database, since my fervent protests (and massive confusion with their forms), has now changed her name from Ellen McLane, to the correct Ellen McLain.

But there is much work to be done. Not least of all by MobyGames. Having gone through the same bizarre hoops to file a correction with them, I received the following in an email this morning:

“are you sure that’s the same person? an opera singer doesn’t seem like she would be doing voice overs”


Does being an opera singer preclude one from speaking? Are you rendered only able to sing in voluminous warbles? And how exactly does her being an opera singer make her less likely to be doing voice-over work than someone who doesn’t exist? (Nevermind that her name is in the credits for the games, spelt correctly).

The battle continues.

There are others, too. And it’s everyone’s responsibility to find them and fix them. I’ve corrected at least one in Wikipedia. HL Fallout, could you fix yours too?

Edit: Thanks HL Fallout! Another victory!

Together, we can save the world.


  1. Bet says:

    Mike Rowe was an opera singer! Rebut with that! Also, did you include a screenshot with the correction? That should take care of it immediately if not the Mike Rowe thing.

  2. John Walker says:

    I HEART Mike Rowe.

  3. Crispy says:

    I love when mistakes are corrected. Next can you please sort out the BBC?

  4. Tom says:

    the BBC don’t make mistakes, surely?! And you go John Walker! Everyone needs something to cling to i geuss. :)

  5. Pie21 says:

    As a representative of HL Fallout, I’d like to point out that it was GabeN *himself* that posted the name Ellen McLane. We’re working on getting a mod to fix it, since we agree, she is an true hero.

    “It also says you were adopted, so that’s funny too.”

  6. Monkfish says:

    Transcript of possible conversation with MobyGames in the future:

    “Remember how I said that the AI’s voice from Portal was an opera singer, and you were like, “No way”. And then I was all “You’ve spelt her name wrong, too”. That was great.

  7. John Walker says:

    Gabe is to blame!

    Let’s all boycott his games until he apologises.

    (Um, everyone ignore any lying pop-ups on Steam that imply I’m playing his games)

  8. Aquarion says:

    Incidentally, the mobygames person should do the Portal Commentary, as one of the soundbytes from McLain about the song has her doing both Opera-style singing and “This was a triumph”

  9. Pie21 says:

    HLF is fixed, you can sleep easy now.

    @ Monkfish, also:
    Here, MobyGames, I’ll put you on… “HELLOOOOOOOOOOO!!” That’s you! That’s how dumb you sound! You’ve been wrong about every single thing you’ve ever done, including this thing!

  10. John Walker says:

    Aquarion – I referenced that in my reply.

  11. Darren T says:

    It doesn’t help that the credits to HL2 have her name spelt wrong…

    link to

  12. John Walker says:

    Heh – and so the source of the madness is unearthed.

    Thank goodness I was here to right this wrong.

  13. Cargo Cult says:

    I’m still waiting for Charlotte Green to do the voice-acting for my own Minerva.


  14. Nick says:

    All praise to Jon Wilker!

  15. Aimless says:

    Her name is spelt correctly in the credits for Episode Two, at least. Unless they just patched that in after seeing Mr Walker’s burgeoning campaign for justice; Steam’s sneaky that way.

  16. The unexplained whooping of Gladys McCartney says:

    If you love her so much, why don’t you MARRY her?

  17. Ryan says:

    well I WON’T LET YOU

  18. Spacegirl says:

    The fact that this website has spawned a campaign to remedy an error in spelling of a videogame voice actors name is proof of its superiority. Also, why is it telling me ‘videogame’ is misspelled? DIAF FIREFOX!!!

  19. Spacegirl says:

    Also, is the title to this story a Simpsons reference? I THINK IT IS!!!

  20. John Patrick Lowrie says:

    Hi, everybody. My name is John Patrick Lowrie and I have done a lot of voice work for Valve as well as many other game designers. I also happen to be married to Ellen McLain, the voice of GlaDOS. Ellen has been trying to get her name spelled correctly on the internet for YEARS and you good folks come along and get the job done in a matter of days. I am very impressed and very appreciative. Keep up the good work.

  21. MisterBritish says:

    You two must be a riot at parties :)

  22. simonkaye says:

    This is exciting!

  23. Kieron Gillen says:



  24. Iain says:

    At this point I feel obligated to exclaim “Bruno!” in a high-pitched British accent, for some reason.

  25. Cody says:

    It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

  26. Andrew says:

    John Patrick motherflippin’ Lowrie!

    I think you’ve been the victim of mis-spelling too, actually. Seen it spelt ‘Lawrie’ in quite a few places and thought ‘tsk tsk, that’s not right’.

  27. John Patrick Lowrie says:

    Yeah, the guys at NOLF thought my name was spelled ‘Lawrie’ hence the name of the character Bruno Lawrie. I accused the writer (I can’t remember HIS name right now, but he’s a hilarious guy) of being subtle by using a different spelling. He said, “How IS it spelled? I’d have spelled it that way if I’d known.”

    I’m sure you guys in G. B. understand how hard it is to get a Scottish name spelled correctly.

  28. Iain says:

    Whenever I’m talking to people on the phone and have to tell them my name and say “That’s ‘Iain’ with two ‘i’s…” the letter always comes back addressed to ‘Iian’… I’ve had a few creative mispellings of my surname too (McCafferty), so I always explicitly spell both of names out to people these days.

    But the worst is when you send emails to people where your name is clear to see and the replies come back to ‘Ian McCassery”. What’s wrong with these people? Do they not think I can spell MY OWN NAME?

    Sorry, this is a bit of a sore topic. ;-)

  29. Jason says:

    I noticed that something was off as well, so I mailed Valve about it and received a response from a fellow over there named Jeep Barnett. There’s a post about it on my blog:

    link to

  30. Dave says:

    An unexpected thing happened while playing Portal. I sort of fell in love with GlaDos. I really didn’t want to kill her at the end. But I did. I did and I’m glad I did because then I got to hear the song. But after I heard the song I was REALLY in love with her. But I couldn’t have heard the song if I hadn’t killed her. And ripped her to pieces. And thrown every piece … into … a fire …

    Okay. Thank you.

  31. ryanzero says:

    GlaDos and the Team Fortress announcer are the two greatest voiceovers I think I’ve ever heard. It’s so cool that someone with so much dramatic skill and voice talent was involved in a game. I don’t know how it happened but Valve and Mrs. McLain should be praised.

    *I had to check the title for the spelling. :)

  32. Meet the Announcer [Team Fortress 2]| Ultimate Gaming Blog | Complete Coverage of Game News, Reviews, Updates| says:

    […] is fa­milia­r w­ith­ McCla­in­’s vo­ice­, a­s sh­e h­as ro­l­es i­n­ Half­-Li­f­e 2, Team F­o­r­tr­ess 2, an­d […]

  33. Kotaku - Meet the Announcer [Team Fortress 2] | Nintendo ds says:

    […] wait … not in that way. Anyone with the Orange Box is familiar with McClain’s voice, as she has roles in Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal (not only GLaDOS but also as the singer in "Still […]

  34. Underground Gamer » Meet the Announcer [Team Fortress 2] says:

    […] with the Orange Box is familiar with McClain’s voice, as she has roles in Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal (not only GLaDOS but also as the singer in “Still […]

  35. Onlinegamer - Team Fortress 2 på svenska » Blog Archive » Meet the Announcer says:

    […] att höra även i spelen Half-Life 2 och Portal (t.ex. i avslutningslåten Still Alive). Hon är faktiskt ganska lik Heathers version av […]

  36. GameZone» Blog Archive » Meet the Announcer [Team Fortress 2] says:

    […] with the Orange Box is familiar with McLain’s voice, as she has roles in Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal (not only GLaDOS but also as the singer in “Still […]

  37. Meet the Announcer [Team Fortress 2] | Semantic Web Reviews says:

    […] with the Orange Box is familiar with McLain’s voice, as she has roles in Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal (not only GLaDOS but also as the singer in “Still […]

  38. consoleer » Blog Archive » Meet the Announcer [Team Fortress 2] says:

    […] with the Orange Box is familiar with McClain’s voice, as she has roles in Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal (not only GLaDOS but also as the singer in “Still […]

  39. mclain says:

    […] Horse Author Interview. Horse Games for Nintendo wii. Karen McLain Revisited. Horse Sitter …Attention Ms. Singer, Or Should I Call You… McLain | Rock …It has become my sole mission to get Valve's super voice-over champion, professional soprano Ellen […]

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    […] time for John bloomin’ Walker to finally transcribe the interview he did with voice of GLaDOS Ellen McLain back in 2007. Tell him to get on with it, readers. __________________Related Stories:Portal 2 […]