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MMPR: Rita Repulsa's Original Voice Actress Was Fired And Then Re-Auditioned

"Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" was a pop culture phenomenon when it came out in the 1990s. The show became an instant hit with kids with its unique blend of using stock footage from the Japanese "Super Sentai" series and scenes featuring American actors, many of whom still act to this day. One of these mash-ups involved the main series villain, Rita Repulsa, who Machiko Soga portrayed in the show's first season. However, her lines were dubbed over by actress Barbara Goodson. So when fans think of Rita saying something like, "After 10,000 years, I'm free," that's actually Goodson doing the dialogue. 

However, Goodson almost lost out on the role due to a focus group. During Power Morphicon 2014, which is basically Comic-Con for all things "Power Rangers," Goodson was asked about becoming Rita Repulsa, and she explained, "I had worked with Saban on many things. They had a stable of actors, and they usually cast me as the little boy voices or the grandmothers or the moms or some of the witches. And they just gave me the bar and said, 'Could you please do a Wicked Witch of the West?'" 

Goodson obliged, but a focus group said the voice wasn't scary enough. As such, she was fired, but opportunity came knocking again.

Barbara Goodson took those notes and made the voice scarier

Losing out on a role as popular as Rita Repulsa would've been a big loss for Barbara Goodson. She was rightfully upset that she was fired just because some random people didn't like the voice she did. But life is all about second chances, and she didn't throw away her shot when the next opportunity came. 

Goodson went on to say, "So I said, 'Can I audition,' and they said, 'Yeah, we're having auditions, so you can audition.' And I came up with this scarier voice, and I had no idea I would be doing it for five years after that." While different actresses would portray Rita Repulsa physically, Goodson maintained the role for many years. She also became a mainstay in other iterations of the "Power Rangers" series, including "Power Rangers Lost Galaxy," "Power Rangers Time Force," and "Power Rangers Wild Force." And that's not even getting into the litany of roles, both live-action and animated, she's had outside of the franchise.

However, she would return to the role that started it all with the release of Netflix's "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Once and Always." This time around, Rita Repulsa is a robot, but the voice will be recognizable to anyone who grew up watching the original series. It's hard to imagine anyone else playing Rita, and it's a good thing Goodson had another chance to show what she could do.