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15 Famous Actors Behind Cartoon Voices

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15 Famous Actors Behind Cartoon Voices

It’s happened more times than once, surely. You’re watching an old-time cartoon and think, “wait a minute. I know that voice.” The recognition sends your fingers scrambling to IMDB to look up the credits for the show, only to discover that….yes! You do know that voice.

Voice acting is a popular starting place for many well-known actors and actresses, giving them a place to supply their talents while they are first becoming established. Who do you recognize from this list, and who else voiced some of the most memorable characters from your childhood?

15. Jaleel White

The role:

Jaleel voiced Sonic the Hedgehog in the animated series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic (SatAM) and Sonic Underground. He also reprised the voice of Sonic in the film Sonic in 2013.

What else did he do?

He’s most known for his role as obnoxious, yet hard-to-hate quirky Steve Urkel in Family Matters, which ran from 1989 to 1997. Remember his tagline: “Did I do that?” He also had a role in Dreamgirls (2006 film) along with appearances and hosting gigs on television shows such as Boston Legal, Psych, House, Dancing with the Stars, and Total Blackout.

Where is he now? 

Although Jaleel’s career has been relatively quiet during the last few years, with his most recent appearance in a 2015 Scion commercial, his comedy series Me, Myself, & I is set to premiere on CBS this fall.

14. Fergie

The role:

The role: Before she was Fergie, this leading lady voiced the character of Sally Brown in several television specials of the Charlie Brown series, including It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown, and The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. She also voiced Shaffika in the Nickelodeon series Rocket Power.

What else did she do?

Fergie (nee Stacy Ann Ferguson) is best known for her vocals in the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas, along with a successful solo career. She’s spawned such hits as “London Bridge,” “Glamorous,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” She’s also voiced several other animated characters in films such as Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard, and Marmaduke. She’s had various live-action roles in films and television shows, including Poseidon and Fashion Police, and has hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve since 2007.

Where is she now? 

Fergie’s taking a bit of break from acting — both behind the screen and live — to work on her second studio album, Double Duchess, set for a September 2017 release.

13. John Ritter

The role:

Ritter voiced the adorable red pup in 64 episodes of the animated television series Clifford the Big Red Dog as well as the feature film Clifford’s Really Big Movie.

What else did he do?

Ritter was best known for his role as Jack Tripper on the sitcom Three’s Company, which ran on ABC for seven years. He also appeared in various films such as Problem Child, Problem Child 2, Bad Santa, and It. He was also well-known for his television roles on 8 Simple Rules, King of the Hill and Scrubs, among many other film and television roles.

Where is he now? 

Ritter died at the young age of 54 as a result of an aortic dissection. He was posthumously nominated for an Emmy for his role in 8 Simple Rules. Both Bad Santa, Clifford’s Really Big Movie, and an episode each of Scrubs and King of the Hill were dedicated to his memory.

12. Flea

 

The role:

Flea, or Michael Balzary as he’s officially named, voiced character Donnie Thornberry in the Nickelodeon television series The Wild Thornberrys. He reprised this role in The Wild Thornberrys Movie and Rugrats Go Wild, and also had a brief voice role in the animated film Inside Out.

What else did he do?

Flea is best known as the bassist and founding member of the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. He’s also appeared as the bassist for bands such as Fear and Jane’s Addiction. In addition to his musical pursuits, he’s also acted in films such as Back to the Future Part II and III, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Son in Law, and The Big Lebowski.

Where is he now? 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers released their fourth single, “Goodbye Angels,” from The Getaway album in April of this year. Flea is currently on tour with the band for the next few months.

11. J.K. Simmons

The role:

Simmons has completed numerous little-known voice roles, including those in Spongebob Squarepants, Kung Fu Panda 3, Zootopia, and Aliens in the Attic, but you perhaps know him best as  the fun-loving but dim-witted yellow M&M. He has fulfilled this role not only for all M&M commercials, but also in other features such as the M&M’s Lost Formulas video game.

What else did he do?

Simmons has an award-winning acting career that includes myriad voice, film, and television roles. He starred in La La Land, Spider Man, Whiplash, The Closer and Juno, just to name a few.

Where is he now? 

Simmons has had a busy last few years! He’s currently wrapping up filming, recently completed, or in postproduction for several 2017 films, including The Black Ghiandola, I’m Not Here, Renegades, Bastards, Justice League, The Bachelors, The Snowman, and All Nighter.

10. Tim Curry

The role:

Although Tim Curry is well known for his various voice roles, many people do not know that he voiced the father figure Nigel Thornberry in the Nickelodeon cartoon The Wild Thornberrys. He also provided voice work for Peter Pan & the Pirates, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, and A Christmas Carol.

What else did he do?

Tim Curry rose to fame for his role in The Rocky Horror Show in 1973. Since then, he’s given numerous theater, musical, film, and television performances. Significant roles include Rooster Hannigan in the 1982 film adaptation of Annie, Pennywise in It, and  Long John Silver in Muppets Treasure Island.

Where is he now? 

Curry suffered a devastating stroke in 2012 and now is confined to a wheelchair. However, he’s had countless voice roles since then, in films and television shows such as Ribbit, Back to the Sea, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

9. Lacey Chabert

The role:

Chabert, who is perhaps best known for her naughty-but-nice role as Gretchen Wieners in 2005 film Mean Girls, is also a prolific voice actress. She played title character Eliza Thornberry in Nickelodeon’s The Wild Thornberrys from 1998 to 2004. She also voiced Meg Griffin for the first season of Family Guy, after which Mila Kunis took over.

What else did she do?

Lacey Chabert was featured as a cover girl in the January 2007 issue of Maxim, then again in 2013. She had a recurring role in the ABC Family sitcom Baby Daddy and also starred in films and series such as Party of Five, Daddy Day Care, Not Another Teen Movie, The Brooke Ellison Story, and Ghost Whisperer.

Where is she now? 

Chabert gave birth to her daughter in 2016, but motherhood hasn’t slowed her down. She released Moonlight in Vermont in 2017 and has continued to speak publicly about her devotion to her Christian faith.

8. George Clooney

The role:

George Clooney has been ranked multiple times within People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” issue. However, he ironically performed for a role that didn’t require his face at all, but instead his voice. He gave voice to Sparky the Dog in the South Park episode “Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat Ride.”

What else did he do?

What hasn’t he done? Clooney has starred in multiple big budget films and television shows, including Syriana, Argo, E.R., and Ocean’s Eleven. He was included in Time magazine’s 2009 issue of the “Most Influential People in the World” for his political activism with the United Nations.  

Where is he now? 

He recently welcomed twins, Ella and Alexander, with his wife Amal, and his film Suburbicon is currently in postproduction. He continues his political and social activism as well.

7. Bruce Willis

The role:

Bruce Willis has had multiple voice roles, including that of Mikey in Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too. But did you know he also voiced RJ in Over the Hedge and Spike in Rugrats Go Wild?

What else did he do?

Willis is most well-known for his roles in the Die Hard series and other major action motion pictures.  He has also starred in Pulp Fiction, Armageddon, Red, Sin City, and The Expendables 2.

Where is he now? 

This non-stop go-getter has had a busy year! Upcoming films include Acts of Violence, Glass, Death Wish, Reprisal, Death Wish, Downsizing, and First Kill. Guess it’s a good day (year) to….go hard?

6. Jay Leno

The role:

Jay Leno is probably best known for his hilarious stand-up comedy and hosting duties on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which ran for nearly 17 years. But did you know he also did some voice work? Ironically, Leno voiced the superhero character, “The Crimson Chin,” in the Nickelodeon show, The Fairly Oddparents. Wonder where the inspiration came from?

What else did he do?

Leno has appeared in several film and television roles, in some of which he played himself. He has received acclaim for his television show, Jay Leno’s Garage, as well as for his stand-up comedy and his role in hosting The Tonight Show. He is active in charity and politically outspoken.

Where is he now? 

Leno continues to host Jay Leno’s Garage. He also voiced the character of Billy the Beagle in the animated series Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

5. Mel Gibson

The role:

Mel Gibson has earned acclaim for his various award-winning roles as an actor, director, writer, and producer. However, he is also the little known voice of John Smith in the Disney animated film Pocahontas, as well as Rocky in Chicken Run.

What else did he do?

Gibson is most well-known as an action hero. He starred in films such as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, The Patriot, and Lethal Weapon. He has also directed and produced other blockbuster hits such as The Passion of the Christ, Apocolypto, and Hacksaw Ridge.

Where is he now? 

Gibson is in postproduction and filming for several upcoming films, including Daddy’s Home 2, The Professor and the Madman, and Dragged Across Concrete. He also stars in an upcoming television show, The Barbary Coast.

4. Mila Kunis

The role:

The Ukrainian-born beauty is most well-known for her long-standing role as Jackie in That 70’s Show. However, at the same time she was starring in that show, she also voiced Meg Griffin in the animated adult comedy Family Guy. 

What else did she do?

Kunis is a versatile actress, starring in a wide range of genres across film and television. Key roles include those in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Max Payne, The Book of Eli, Ted, Oz the Gret and Powerful, and Black Swan. She won the Premio Marcello Mastroianni award for Best Young Actress and has also received nominations for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. 

Where is she now? 

Mila Kunis gave birth to her son Dimitri (fathered by Ashton Kutcher) in 2016. She is currently filming The Spy Who Dumped Me and Amusement Park (for which she is providing voice work), and is in postproduction for the sequel to the 2016  hit Bad Moms.  

3. Christian Bale

The role:

Christian Bale has an infamous “do-not-mess-with-me” grumble as Christopher Nolan’s Batman. But did you know he also lent that voice to several voice roles? He voiced Thomas in Pocahontas and Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle. 

What else did he do?

Bale has been acting since the young age of 13. He was cast in the starring role of Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun and has since acted in films such as The Machinist, American Psycho, American Hustle, The Big Short, and the Batman Begins series. He has won numerous awards and nominations for Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Golden Globes. 

Where is he now? 

Bale is lending his voiceover talents in a 2018 remake of the classic The Jungle Book. He will reportedly be voicing the lovable panther Bagheera. His live-action film Hostiles is also set to release this year.

2. Meg Ryan

The role: 

Meg Ryan, known for her heartbreaking roles in countless romantic comedies, voiced the illustrious Anastasia in the 1997 animated film of the same name.

What else did she do?

Meg Ryan has starred in multiple box-office hits, including Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally…, and Kate & Leopold. She successfully made a name for herself in the romantic comedy genre after receiving acclaim for her role in the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. 

Where is she now? 

She’s been flying under the radar these last few years, but did make her directorial debut in 2016 with the film Ithaca.

1. Melissa McCarthy

The role:

As the second highest paid actress in the world, Melissa McCarthy has certainly made a name for herself. But did you know that one of her earliest roles was not in comedy, but in animation? She voiced DNAmy in  the Disney series Kim Possible. She also provided the voice of Shelley in The Penguins of Madagascar. 

What else did she do?

Melissa McCarthy is everywhere these days, after first rising to nationwide recognition for her role as Sookie St. James in the teleivision series Gilmore Girls. She has also starred in Mike & Molly, Bridesmaids, Samantha Who?,  Th Heat, and Ghostbusters. Her comedic talents are highly acclaimed and she has appeared several times on Saturday Night Live. 

Where is she now? 

McCarthy runs a successful clothing line for plus-sized women in addition to maintaining her reputation as a skilled comedic actress. She is in filfamousming and postproduction for 2018 films that include Life of the Party, Can You Ever Forgive Me? and The Happytime Murders (for which she also holds production credits). 

 

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