The faces of many voice actors may not be known, but their voices are familiar all around the world. In honor of Nancy Jean Cartwright’s birthday which is on the 25th of October 1957, we want to celebrate these heroes who have helped bring life to our classic cartoon characters. Here is a list of top 10 famous voice actors in no particular order.
Nancy Jean Cartwright
Nancy Jean Cartwright is an American actress, voice actress, and comedian. She was born on October 25, 1957, in Dayton Ohio. Cartwright is popularly known for her voice role as Bart Simpson in the animated television series The Simpsons. She also voices for other characters on the show, including Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, Kearney, andDatabase.
SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 11: Actress Nancy Cartwright (L) and producer/writer Al Jean attend ‘The Simpsons’ panel during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 11, 2015, in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
In 1978, Cartwright moved to Hollywood where she trained with voice actor Daws Butler. She was able to get her first professional voice role in the animated series Richie Rich, where she voiced as Gloria.
Her success in The Simpsons got her other jobs where she voiced as Chuckie Finster on Rugrats and Rufus on Kim Possible. Cartwright bagged many awards including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992 and an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in the Field of Animation in 1995.
John DiMaggio is an American born voice actor and comedian. He was born on September 4, 1968, in New Jersey. DiMaggio is married to lovely voice actress Kate Miller.
He got famous for his voices role as Jake the Dog in the Adventure Time, Bender in TV series Futurama and Marcus Fenix in the Xbox video game Gears of War.
SEATTLE, WA – MARCH 03: Actor, voice artist and comedian John DiMaggio speaks onstage during Emeral City Comic Con at Washington State Convention Center on March 3, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
He was also on the DC movie Batman: Under the Red Hood, where he voiced as the Joker. DiMaggio’s commitment to his career has been rewarded with awards including the Annie Awards for the Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production and the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Ensemble. In 2013, he co-wrote, co-produced, and narrated a 2013 documentary on voice acting called Know that Voice which featured interviews with several voice performers.
Billy West real name is Williams Richard Werstine. West is an American voice actor, singer, songwriter, and a former radio personality. He was born on April 16, 1952, in Michigan. Billy West started his career in 1980 as a radio personality at WBCN in Boston and K-Rock Radio in New York City. In 1988, he moved to Los Angeles where he started his career as a voice actor and performer. His first ever voice role act was on the Nickelodeon cartoon Red & Stimpy show.
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 10: Billy West attends the 2014 New York Comic Con – Day 2 at Jacob Javitz Center on October 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
That same period, West also landed a job voicing on the Doug show. He is the voice of many Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Billy West also featured alongside John DiMaggio in Futurama where he voiced characters like Phillip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, and Dr. Zoidberg.
Tara Strong is famous for her voice roles in animated movies and video games. Strong was born on February 12, 1973, in Canada. Her career in voice acting started at age 13 when she was given a lead cartoon role in Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater.
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 07: Voice actor Tara Strong speaks onstage at the Let’s Be Heroes panel during New York Comic Con 2017 – JK at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 7, 2017 in New York City. 27356_002 (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Cartoon Network)
A year later, she got voice acting roles in television films like The Wild Puffalumps’ and ‘Care Bears Nutcracker Suite.’ Her recent projects include ‘The Boss Baby,’ ‘Despicable Me 3’, ‘Injustice 2’, ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ and ‘Minions.’ Strong is still busy with her previous projects like ‘My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’, ‘The Looney Tunes Show,’ ‘Bravest Warriors,’ ‘Teen Titans Go,’ ‘Justice League Action,’ ‘Ben 10’ and ‘Bunsen Is a Beast.’ In 2013, she was given the BTVA Voice Acting Award for Voice Actress of the Year.
Mel Blanc is one of the most influential and respected persons in the world of voice acting. He was born on May 30, 1908.
LOS ANGELES – CIRCA 1960: Radio and cartoon voice actor Mel Blanc in the recording studio poses for a Warner Bros publicity still circa 1960 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
His voice acting career began just after he started his radio performing career which would go on to last for 60 years. Blanc was the original voice actor for a handful of Looney Toons characters including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bid, and Elmer Fudd. It was because of Blanc that voice actors became recognized. He was the first voice actor to receive credit on-screen. Cartoon studios in the past tried to hide their names from the public in a bid to make the cartoons appear real.
He is also the original performer for cartoon characters like Barney Rubble on The Flintstones and Cosmo Spacely on The Jetsons. He had a horrible car accident which left him unconscious for weeks in 1961. Mel Blanc died on July 10, 1989. His character, Bugs Bunny has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In recent times, Tress MacNeille has featured in almost every Cartoon aired on Television either in a prominent role or as the main character. She plays multiple voice roles on The Simpsons including Seymour Skinner’s mother, Crazy Cat Lady, Bart Simpson’s regular bullies Dolph and Jimbo Jones, and several others. Tress MacNeille worked as a DJ before she started her voice acting career. On Futurama, she voiced 15 recurring voice characters. She also voiced one of the three titular characters in Animaniacs.
LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 13: Tress MacNeille attends the 4th Annual RuPaul’s DragCon at Los Angeles Convention Center on May 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic)
One of the highlights of her career was when she voiced as Gadget Hackwrench and Chip who were potential lovers. It was one of the rare times the same actor voiced as both halves of a romantic pairing.
Troy Baker can be regarded as the king of video game voice acting. Baker has an excellent reputation, having featured in some of the highest profile video games. His voice performance as the befuddled man of action Booker Dewitt in the surreal gameBioshock Infinite went down as one of the best in 2013. Before Baker started voice acting, he was the lead singer of a band named Tripp Fontaine.
SEATTLE, WA – MARCH 05: Voice Actor Troy Baker speaks onstage during Emerald City Comicon at Washington State Convention Center on March 5, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
Another A-performance followed his impressive performance in the Bioshock Infinite in the game The Last of Us as Joel. This was why he was listed as one of Entertainment Weekly top stars of 2013. This honor is rarely given to a video game voice actor. Ever since 2013, he landed roles like the kooky villain, Pagan Min in the game Far Cry 4. He has also voice acted in characters like Batman and Joker in Superhero games like DG Arkham and Injustice.
When we talk about imitating animal characters, Frank Welker is the best of them all. His best performances include Apu the monkey and Rajah the tiger in Aladdin. Welker is so good to the extent that it was thought to be an animal instead of an imitation from a human. He also featured in Mulan as Cri-kee the cricket in Mulan.
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 29: Voice actor Frank Welker poses in the press room at the 43rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Westin Bonaventure Hotel on April 29, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Frank Welker’s abilities made him the most successful actor ever grossing over 6 billion dollars.
Barbara Goodson’s vocal performances in classics like The Legend of Korra and Star Wars certainly put her ahead of many in the voice acting world.
PASADENA, CA – AUGUST 19: Actress Barbara Goodson participates in the 2012 Power Morphicon 3 held at the Pasadena Convention Center on August 19, 2012, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
She is popularly known for playing creepy roles like Mother Talzin in Star Wars. Her best role was providing an English Dub voice of the main villain Empress Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers. Barbara Goodson was born on August 16, 1949, in Brooklyn New York. She once won a Best Actress award from the website “Behind the Voice Actor.”
Cree Summer started her career in 1983 when she voicedPenny in Inspector Gadget in 1983. Little did she know it was the beginning of great things to come. Ever since then, she has voiced Elmyra in Tiny Toon Adventures, as well as other characters in Tiny Toon Adventures, as well as characters in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Batman Beyond, Rugrats, the dementedly weird Drawn Together, and Rick and Morty.
PASADENA, CA – FEBRUARY 11: Actress Cree Summer attends the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Summer’s recent works include playing the character of the Exo Female player in Parts 1 and 2 of Destiny.