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One of the most distinctive voices in Marvel animation history almost didn't happen.

When voices were being cast for Fox Kids' X-Men animated series in the early 1991, Lenore Zann was feeling ill and considered not auditioning.

But she did audition for -- and eventually got -- the role of Rogue, one of the eight main characters in the series, which aired 76 episodes on Fox Kids from October 1992 to September 1997.

Two volumes of the series were released on DVD on Tuesday by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

Zann -- a Canadian who eventually relocated to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career in television and features and then returned and has become involved in Canadian politics -- was quickly identified by what she calls "my million-dollar crack."

"I guess you could say my voice is distinctive," Znnn said. "People would always ask me if I had a cold."

Zann said Rogue was one of her favorite characters, and her favorite episode, "A Rogue's Tale," is included in Volume 2 of the DVD series.

Zann embraced the themes of the series.

"With X-Men, it felt like a lot of people related to it," she said. "When I'd go to New York, taxi drivers would recognize my voice. They couldn't care less of how many movie stars you've worked with or how many movies you've done, but the X-Men, they were their heroes. That made me feel really good.

"The scripts said it was OK to be different, it's all right to be different. Everybody has their own special powers. Whenever I would write autographs for kids and a lot of teenagers and young people, I would always write, 'Everybody has their own special powers. What's yours?'

"Because it's true. Everybody's unique and everybody's got their own thing. Those shows made people feel that way as opposed to feeling, 'Oh, god, I don't have any friends. I don't make a difference. I'm a nobody.'"

Zann voiced another Marvel character, Tigra, in the short-lived Avengers series, which, like X-Men, airs on Disney XD.

Znnn said there were similarities between Avengers and X-Men.

"It's the universal themes, trying to make people's differences a good thing and trying to make people come together," Zann said. "There's a story line, but if you read into the story line, it's saying a lot more than originally meets the eye. Broader issues and subtler issues.

"Some animation shows are just one level. The good guy fights the bad guy and the good guy wins and the bad guys get beaten. That's it. In this one, it says a lot more to humanity and I love that.

"Obviously in the end you want to make a difference on the planet."

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