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Impressionist Rich Little spoke many of David Niven's lines...

NEW YORK -- Impressionist Rich Little spoke many of David Niven's lines in two 'Pink Panther' movies because Niven's voice was damaged by Lou Gehrig's disease.

'We didn't want it known, you know, because David Niven wanted to go on working.

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He didn't want the world to know he was really ill,' Little said Tuesday on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'

'I did it really as a tribute -- more than anything -- for him, my great admiration for him,' said Little.

Al Newman, vice president for publicity of MGM-United Artists, confirmed that much of Niven's dialogue in 'The Trail of the Pink Panther' and 'The Curse of the Pink Panther' was spoken by Little.

Newman said Lou Gehrig's disease left Niven unable to articulate properly. Niven died July 29.

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