They never thought it would happen in their little town

You may have heard that veteran actor Paul Winfield died last Sunday of a heart attack. He was 62, and was best known for a number of outsanding TV roles. But in the various obits I’ve seen, there’s nary a mention of his greatest accomplishment.

Winfield was the voice of A&E’s “City Confidential.” If you’ve ever watched an episode of the show, you know that it’s his voice that makes the otherwise humdrum “big murder in a small town” show so addictive, not to mention soporific.

A&E knows the score:

All of us at A&E Network were saddened to learn of the death of Paul Winfield. Paul was an extraordinary performer and a consummate professional. His distinct voice and sense of humor contributed so much to our critically acclaimed series “City Confidential.” We express our deepest sympathy to his family. Paul will be missed.

Posters to the show’s discussion board are devastated, and calling for A&E to honor the actor with a “Biography” special. On an old interview with “Fresh Air” that was replayed today, the first question Terry Gross asked was about Winfield’s voice.

Amazingly, he said he wasn’t very pleased with it. “I wish I had a deeper voice like James Earl Jones,” he said. On that basis, it seems to me that Jones is the only suitable replacement for Winfield as narrator of the show, though perhaps the “Autopsy” lady — Marlene Sanders — might be an interesting choice.