How you can get (AI versions of) Judy Garland or Burt Reynolds to read to you

ElevenLabs Celebrity Voices
(Image credit: ElevenLabs)

Want to hear The Wizard of Oz read by Judy Garland or Sherlock Holmes read by Sir Laurence Olivier? ElevenLabs has artificial intelligence-produced voice clones of them and other deceased celebrities available on its recently launched Reader App, thanks to a deal with the estates of several performers. 

ElevenLabs' Reader App enables users to listen to any digital text, including articles, PDFs, and e-books, read out by synthetic voices created with AI. The company's exclusive library of voices now counts Hollywood legends among its options. Initially, the famous voices include James Dean, Burt Reynolds, Judy Garland, and Sir Laurence Olivier, built in partnership with their respective estates.

"It's exciting to see our mother's voice available to the countless millions of people who love her," Judy Garland's daughter Garland Estate representative Liza Minnelli said in a statement. "Through the spectacular new technology offered by ElevenLabs, our family believes that this will bring new fans to Mama, and be exciting to those who already cherish the unparalleled legacy that Mama gave and continues to give to the world," 

The Reader App employs sophisticated algorithms to ensure that the voiceovers are not only accurate but also convey the appropriate emotional tone and context. Those interested in hearing the voices can try the ElevenLabs Reader app for free for three months or subscribe to ElevenLabs' platform to gain access to the iOS app. An Android version is also coming soon.

If you don't want one of the famous voices, the Reader App has many others that users can adjust for whatever accent, style, and tone they believe works with the text they want to hear.  

ElevenLabs Iconic Voices - Judy Garland - YouTube ElevenLabs Iconic Voices - Judy Garland - YouTube
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Celeb Sounds

ElevenLabs pitches its new celebrity voices as a way of using AI to preserve and celebrate cultural heritage. By recreating the voices of these legendary figures, the company claims it honors their contributions to the world while opening the door for new, contemporary audiences to learn about them.

The famous voices are only available for individual streaming through the ElevenLabs Reader App. That means users can have the famous voices perform any narration for their own listening but not create content to share with others. This limit is supposed to keep how these voices are used respectful and appropriate.

“Judy Garland, James Dean, Burt Reynolds, and Sir Laurence Olivier are some of the most celebrated actors in history. We deeply respect their legacy and are honored to have their voices as part of our platform,” ElevenLabs Head of Partnerships Dustin Blank said. “Adding them to our growing list of narrators marks a major step forward in our mission of making content accessible in any language and voice.”

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Eric Hal Schwartz

Eric Hal Schwartz is a freelance writer for TechRadar with more than 15 years of experience covering the intersection of the world and technology. For the last five years, he served as head writer for and was on the leading edge of reporting on generative AI and large language models. He's since become an expert on the products of generative AI models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Anthropic’s Claude, Google Gemini, and every other synthetic media tool. His experience runs the gamut of media, including print, digital, broadcast, and live events. Now, he's continuing to tell the stories people want and need to hear about the rapidly evolving AI space and its impact on their lives. Eric is based in New York City.