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When it comes to our favorite cartoons, animated movies, and even video games, the animation, of course, is a huge part of what makes it amazing, but the oft unsung heroes are the voice actors. They give life, meaning and a background to some of our most favorite characters in the animated world, yet we never see their faces. Not only do they touch our children’s lives, but they touch ours as well, whether we realize it or not. We’re here to celebrate those voice actors, and to learn more about them and their lives!
1. Tara Strong
Strong has voiced some of the most memorable animated characters out there. From Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls, and Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, to Truffles from Chowder, Strong has an iconic and incredible voice range. While voice acting is most certainly her main gig, she is also a mother who takes pride in what she gives her children. Strong has created the babababy calendar cap system, which helps parents accurately label when breast milk was pumped. Strong created the system after trying to juggle new motherhood and a career and realizing remembering when she pumped breast milk last was tough.
2. Tom Kenny
Tom Kenny is a name you’ve likely read often. He has voiced thousands of characters, most notably the titular character Spongebob Squarepants from the cartoon of the same name. Kenny has voiced many other notable characters such as the narrator on The Powerpuff Girls, as well as stints on Word Girl, Pound Puppies, Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Futurama, Marvel Avengers Assemble and Teen Titans Go! In addition to voicing animated characters, Kenny also takes great pleasure in drawing, and has appeared in hundreds of live-action television shows.
3. Dwight Schultz
Many will recognize Schultz’s voice talents from his work on the popular Cartoon Network television show Chowder as chef Mung Daal. But before he started doing voice-overs for animated television characters, Schultz got his big break into show business by playing Captain “Howling Mad” Murdock in the wildly popular 1980’s action series The A-Team. Schultz also enjoyed a stint on Broadway, starring in such plays as The Water Engine, The Crucifier of Blood and Night and Day. Schultz identifies as a Christian conservative and makes regular appearances on The Glazov Gang, an online political talk show hosted by Jamie Glazov. Scultz also often refers to politics and shares commentaries and his own podcasts on his official fan website.
4. John DiMaggio
John DiMaggio is a critically acclaimed and award-winning voice actor. Working on such popular long-standing television shows as Futurama and The Simpsons, his work has appeared in thousands of television shows and movies. In addition to all of his voice-over work, DiMaggio is also a very talented beatboxer, which can be heard on his work on Futurama.
5. Nolan North
If you’ve ever heard of Deadpool, than you surely have heard the name Nolan North. North has voiced the character in several pieces of media, and has been voicing other characters, most notably video game characters for years. In addition to Deadpool, North has also voiced titular character Nathan Drake from the Uncharted video game series, and he played himself in Saints Row IV. North has also had live-action parts in series such as General Hospital’s spinoff, Port Charles, as well as appearing in the latest reboot of Star Trek.
6. Maurice LaMarche
LaMarche has voiced characters in series such as Dennis The Menace, Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Pinky and the Brain, and Freakazoid. In addition to his vast history of voice work, LaMarche is also an avid stand-up comedian, as well as the Kellogg’s Froot Loops spokesbird Toucan Sam.
7. Yuri Lowenthal
Lowenthal is well known throughout the voice-acting community for his work on the Cartoon Network series Ben 10, as well as voicing The Prince in many of gaming company Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia video games. He has also appeared on screen in Hawaii Five-O, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Criminal Minds. In addition to his acting work, Lowenthal penned a book, Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind The Mic.
8. Ashleigh Ball
Canadian voice actress Ashleigh Ball is well known for her work in the latest installment of the My Little Pony franchise, providing the voice for characters Applejack and Rainbow Dash. In addition to her large catalog of voice work, she also appeared in the documentary A Brony Tale. She is also the lead singer and flutist for the Vancouver, Canada-based indie-band Hey Ocean!
9. Billy West
West’s work can be seen almost everywhere. He has voiced characters from shows such as Ren & Stimpy, Doug, Futurama and more, as well as being the voices behind such spokes-characters as the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee and the red M&M. In addition to his voice-over work, he is also an avid musician, and is the guitarist and singer-songwriter with his band called Billy West and The Grief Counselors. West has also toured with the likes of Roy Orbison and Brian Wilson as a guitarist.