Who Does What Voice on 'The Simpsons'?

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Who Does What Voice on 'The Simpsons'?

(L-R) cast members Nancy Cartwright, Hank ... executive producer Al Jean, creator and executive producer Matt Groening and cast member Yeardley Smith at THE SIMPSONS 400TH EPISODE BLOCK PARTY on the Fox Lot in Los Angeles, CA. Tuesday, May 8, 2007.
(L-R) cast members Nancy Cartwright, Hank ... executive producer Al Jean, creator and executive producer Matt Groening and cast member Yeardley Smith at THE SIMPSONS 400TH EPISODE BLOCK PARTY on the Fox Lot in Los Angeles, CA. Tuesday, May 8, 2007. ©2007 FOX BROADCASTING

The cast members of The Simpsons were veteran voice-over actors even before voicing our favorite family on prime time's longest-running comedy. They each bring unique talents to every episode. In fact, they're so talented, you might not even know which actor does which voice.

As a group, the cast of The Simpsons made headlines in 1998 and in 2004 when they went on strike during contract negotiations. The actors were demanding more money per episode, while the network wanted to slash their pay. The actors pointed out that The Simpsons is a multi-billion dollar industry, which includes merchandising and syndication. Eventually, the cast won the argument. In 2011, a new tension brewed during contract negotiations, but again, the dispute was resolved. Each cast member makes well into six figures for each episode.

The following cast members will be described for their character voice on The Simpsons:

  • Dan Castellaneta
  • Nancy Cartwright
  • Julie Kavner
  • Yeardley Smith
  • Hank Azaria
  • Harry Shearer
  • Pamela Hayden
  • Marcia Wallace
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Dan Castellaneta

Cast member Dan Castellaneta at The Simpsons Stamp Ceremony
Cast member Dan Castellaneta at The Simpsons Stamp Ceremony. CR: Michael Yarish/FOX ©2009

Dan Castellaneta is one of the actors who voices a large percentage of characters on The Simpsons, including the star of the show, Homer Simpson. He has also appeared in other TV shows, such as BonesHe has won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance on The Simpsons.

Some of the character voices he has played include:

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Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright. FOX

Nancy Cartwright grew up in Dayton, Ohio, before moving to Los Angeles where the legendary Daws Butler coached her into the voice-over actress she is today. She published a book titled My Life as a Ten Year Old Boy about her career and the impact The Simpsons has had on her life.

Nancy has voiced dozens of characters over the years, including Rufus on Kim Possible and Chuckie on Rugrats. In 1992, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her work as Bart in "Separate Vocations."

Several characters Nancy voiced over include:

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Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner
Actress Julie Kavner arrives at 'The Simpsons Movie' World Premiere at The Mann Bruin and The Mann Village Theaters on July 24, 2007 in Westwood, California. Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Julie Kavner had already made a name for herself as a comedic actress on Rhoda before signing on to The Simpsons. In 1992, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.

The three characters Julie has voiced for include:

  • Marge Simpson
  • Patty Bouvier
  • Selma Bouvier
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Yeardley Smith

Cast member Yeardley Smith and the city of Springfield, OR celebrates THE SIMPSONS 25th Anniversary
Cast member Yeardley Smith and the city of Springfield, OR celebrates THE SIMPSONS 25th Anniversary. CR: Craig Strobeck/FOX

Yeardley Smith is one of only two actresses on The Simpsons to perform only one character. She won an Emmy in 1992 for "Lisa the Greek" and does the voice of Lisa Simpson. She has also found success in live action in TV shows like Dharma & Greg and ​Herman's Head, and movies like City Slickers and As Good As It Gets.

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Hank Azaria

"The Simpsons" cast member Hank Azaria arrives at the yellow carpet for THE SIMPSONS 400TH EPISODE BLOCK PARTY
"The Simpsons" cast member Hank Azaria arrives at the yellow carpet for THE SIMPSONS 400TH EPISODE BLOCK PARTY. CR:Carin Baer/FOX

Hank Azaria is a busy man who has starred in dozens of live action films and TV shows, in addition to the stable of characters he voices on The Simpsons. He is most recognized for The Smurfs,  HuffNight at the Museumand The Birdcage.

He has won three Emmys for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance on ​The Simpsons, as well as an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in Tuesdays with Morrie in 2000.

Below are the many characters Hank has voiced over:

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Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer visits the The Drop at The GRAMMY Museum on October 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Harry Shearer visits the The Drop at The GRAMMY Museum on October 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Harry Shearer is a talented interviewer, talking with folks for his radio show. He is most famous for his role of Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap. He also starred in A Mighty Wind. On The Simpsons, he plays some of the biggest characters in Springfield. In 2014, he finally won an Emmy Award for Best Voice-Over Performance.

Here is a list of characters he has voiced for:

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Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden
Pamela Hayden. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Pamela Hayden can pitch her voice to play young boys or pleasant women. She can be heard in other cartoons in addition to The Simpsons, such as Hey Arnold! and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.

Several characters Pamela has voice over include:

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Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace
Marcia Wallace. Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Marcia Wallace was wonderful as the cynical, sarcastic and sexy Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. She won an Emmy in 1992 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. She was most famous for her roles in live-action TV shows, like The Bob Newhart Show and The Young and the Restless.

Sadly, Marcia Wallace died on October 26, 2013. The character of Edna Krabappel was retired from the show. The Simpsons acknowledged Wallace's death in "Four Regrettings and a Funeral" when Bart's chalkboard gag in the opening sequence was read a single line, "We'll really miss you Mrs. K." Also, in "The Man Who Grew Too Much," Ned Flanders is seen wearing a black armband and mourning Edna, whose portrait joined that of Maude Flanders, who died on the show.

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Beyond the Cast List

'The Simpsons' Walk of Fame
'The Simpsons' Walk of Fame. FOX

Go beyond this cast list from The Simpsons with one of the related resources below:

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Basile, Nancy. "Who Does What Voice on 'The Simpsons'?" ThoughtCo, Jul. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/who-does-what-voice-the-simpsons-137811. Basile, Nancy. (2017, July 24). Who Does What Voice on 'The Simpsons'? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/who-does-what-voice-the-simpsons-137811 Basile, Nancy. "Who Does What Voice on 'The Simpsons'?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/who-does-what-voice-the-simpsons-137811 (accessed November 23, 2017).