Did you ever sit there, watching you favorite cartoons, and wonder what the actors looked like that gave them their voices? Probably not. If they were great voice actors, you probably forgot the voice emanated from a flesh and blood human. All you saw was Optimus Prime, Batman, various Care Bears, and a group of X-Men. Didn’t the turtles just provide their own voices in TMNT?
Sure, things begin to click when you’re older and may not even watch cartoons anymore. You realize voice actors are just like any other actors (though usually more low maintenance). They get paid to do their job in their pajamas, in a sound booth, and then go home with a bag of money. In fact, maybe you were even a little jealous of the sweet gig, because you realized that you don’t even have to care what you look like and you still get paid! Some voice actors are actually pretty attractive as it turns out, even though they play less attractive characters. They breathe life into their toons no matter what that toon looks like. CBR has rounded up 15 of the hottest voice actors to remind you that it can get quite steamy in that booth!
15. FERGIE/SALLY BROWN
Who knew that the prim and proper Sally Brown was voiced by none other than the singer Fergie? Granted, this wasn’t in the television series, but was in the television specials. As a kid in the ‘80s, Fergie portrayed Sally in several of them. She didn’t yet have the throaty, husky voice for which she’s become so famous. Around this time she was also in a girl group, Wild Orchid, and part of the ensemble kid show Kids Incorporated.
The stresses of being a child actor caused her to lead a life of addiction and gang violence in her teens, but eventually she started focusing on music again once the Wild Orchids were no more. Her addition to the Black Eyed Peas as the lead female vocal brought what was once an underground group into the mainstream.
14. MARK HAMILL/THE JOKER
It’s not exactly a secret that the vocal talent widely recognized as the definitive voice of The Joker in every animated version since the ‘90s belongs to Mark Hamill. While originally the role in Batman: The Animated Series was supposed to go to Tim Curry, producers thought his portrayal was actually too demented. Mark portrayed him in the series, in films based off the series, and even in the Arkham Asylum video games.
Mark Hamill is a noted voice actor, with a career spanning decades. He’s also, you know, Luke Skywalker. During the filming of The Empire Strikes Back he was involved in a major car crash, which resulted in him needing plastic surgery on his face (this prompted Lucas to add in the Wampa attack seen to explain why his face had changed). He got fewer film roles after that, and began to do a breadth of voice work.
13. KATHLEEN WILHOITE/PEPPER ANN
Most people may know Kathleen Wilhoite from ‘80s movies like Witchboard, Murphy’s Law, and Road House, or ‘90s shows like Will and Grace, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ally McBeal. But she also lent her voice talents to Family Guy, and played the titular character in the ‘90s cartoon Pepper Ann.
For those unfamiliar with Pepper Ann, it followed the exploits of a middle schooler named Pepper Ann, a character that began as a comic strip in YM Magazine. Pepper Ann usually makes the wrong decision when faced with a problem and learns a moral lesson, but the character was always spunky , eccentric, and likable. Pepper Ann aired on Toon Disney, and dealt with issues of loss, death, gender equality, and other themes that were pretty mature for the Saturday Morning cartoon block.
12. SETH MACFARLANE/PETER GRIFFIN
Seth Macfarlane, comedian, writer, singer, and creator of some of the most watched animated shows on television also lends his voice to them. He’s most famed for voicing Peter Griffin, but also does several others in the household of Family Guy, such as Brian and Stewie. He also voices Stan and Roger over on American Dad, but in Peter we find the character he’s the most opposite to in looks and tact.
Seth was a writer and animator for several animated series at Hanna Barbera in the ‘90s, like Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and Dexter’s Laboratory. Before he’d even gone to the Rhode Island Institute of Design, he’d had a comic strip published in his local newspaper at age nine! Currently he’s starring in the live action sci-fi show The Orville on CBS, but has plans to start another mystery series soon.
11. MILA KUNIS/MEG GRIFFIN
If there ever was the strongest example of a voice actor being hotter than their character, it would be Mila Kunis as Meg Griffin. Throughout the Family Guy series, no one misses the opportunity to criticize Meg about her looks, from her butch haircut, to her weight, to her bodily functions. Meanwhile Mila is absolutely stunning, and has provided the voice of Meg since the beginning of the show.
Originally, Meg was voiced by Lacey Chabert (another notable voice actor) in the first season, but Mila replaced her after auditioning for the role. Meg was even slightly rewritten to accommodate Mila’s experiences on That ’70s Show. Seth Macfarlane has been noted at saying how great it was to have a teenager portray a teenager, rather than an adult attempting to.
10. NANCY CARTWRIGHT/BART SIMPSON
One of the most recognizable male cartoon characters in pop culture is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Who expected such famous phrases like “Don’t have a cow” and “Eat my shorts!” from a skateboarding boy to come out of the mouth of an adult woman? Originally, she intended to audition for the part of Lisa Simpson, but she found Bart’s character more interesting and got the job on the spot. She also voices Nelson, Ralph, and others on The Simpsons.
A trained voice actor since she moved to Los Angeles in the late ‘70s, she’s voiced Daffney Gillfin in The Snorks, Rufus in Kim Possible, Mindy in Animaniacs, and Chuckie in Rugrats and later in All Grown Up! But it’s the role of Bart Simpson that she’s most famous for, inspiring her autobiography to be called My Life as a 10-year Old Boy.
9. PAMELA ADLON/BOBBY HILL
An accomplished actress as well as voice actress, Pamela Adlon follows the trend of a women portraying men in cartoons, specifically ten-year old boys! Like her peer Nancy Cartwright, Pamela Adlon is most famous for voicing Bobby Hill on King of the Hill.
Previously a child actress, her career could have gone the way most child actors go; into a cult, into rehab, or into obscurity. Instead, her career took off by still portraying children while she was in her 20s. Aside from Bobby Hill, she also voiced Spinelli on Recess. But she didn’t only play kids; she was Louis C.K.’s wife briefly on the animated series, and portrayed Otto Osworth on the series Time Squad. Check out her in person in the series Better Things on Fox, co-written by Louis C.K.
8. ASHLEY JOHNSON/GRETCHEN GRUNDLER
With her huge coke bottle glasses, buck teeth with a space between them, and gangly frame, no one would assume Gretchen Grundler on Recess was a hottie. But like most nerdy characters, she’d voiced by one, in the form of Ashley Johnson. She also played Terra on the Teen Titans.
She got her start playing Chrissy Seaver on Growing Pains at six years old. She portrayed her as an older character in Growing Pains: The Movie and its sequel. She had guest starring roles in ‘90s sitcoms, avoiding becoming a doomed child actor. As of 2015, she stars in the television drama Blindspot, and makes appearances on the Twitch.tv series Critical Role as Pike Trickfoot. She also shows up on the gaming web series Table Top as Alhambra.
7. TARA STRONG/BUBBLES
Though it might be odd to think about Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls in any sort of salacious way, knowing Tara Strong provides her voice may make a difference. And while she’s most known for playing the always optimistic, kind-hearted Bubbles, she’s also the voice of Timmy Turner on The Fairly Odd Parents, Dil Pickles on All Grown Up!, Ben Tennyson on Ben 10, Raven on Teen Titans, Twilight Sparkle on My Little Pony, and replaced Arleen Sorkin as the voice of Harley Quinn in Arkham City.
Besides being a very prolific voice actress, she’s involved in charity groups such as Bronies for Good, raising funds for terminally ill children. She even attended BronyCon to have lunch with fans from the military. That’s just really good stuff.
6. LANE TORAN/ARNOLD
Much has been made about the hipster good looks of Lane Toran, who notably voiced Hey Arnold in the early ‘00s. With arm sleeves, a fade, and huge beard, he’s become the portrait of the typical lumbersexual. Like so many others on this list, he also lent his voice to Recess voicing King Bob, but it was as Arnold in the series Hey Arnold! That he is most fondly remembered. When he reemerged from childhood looking so studly, people took notice.
As a teen he appeared in 7th Heaven, and Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard, and as a singer/songwriter he now has his own band DieRadioDie. In voice acting news, he will return as the voice of Arnold in the Hey Arnold! Movie, coming in sometime later in 2017.
5. ELIZABETH DAILY/TOMMY PICKLES
Babies pretty much look the same no matter the gender; same bald head, same chubby cheeks, same big eyes, same dopey expression. But one cartoon baby was voiced by a pretty hot babe, Elizabeth Daily. She portrayed Tommy Pickles in Rugrats and the series of the kids as adults, All Grown Up!. Aside from being Tommy, her other most famous vocal credit is playing Buttercup on The Powerpuff Girls, which she likes because it allows her to “rage out” every now and again.
Like a lot of voice actors, she’s also dabbled in film and television. Catch her in such ‘80s classics as Better off Dead with John Cusack and Valley Girl with a young, punked out Nicolas Cage. She was even a runaway teen in Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks” video.
4. WILL ARNETT/BOJACK HORSEMAN
Bojack Horseman, everyone’s favorite nihilist, played to perfection by the drole Will Arnett. A washed up sitcom star, Bojack has to navigate the world where animals and humans co exist despite his cynicism and disgruntled nature. Despite being a narcissistic grump, Will Arnett makes him surprisingly likable and relatable. He’s also played the lead roles in Ratatouille, Monsters vs. Aliens, Despicable Me, and epically, Batman in The Batman Lego Movie.
Other unsympathetic characters he’s played are G.O.B. Bluth in Arrested Development, and NBC executive Devon Banks on 30 Rock. He’s often accused of playing assholes, but it’s his enduring compassion for his character’s plight that makes you root for them. Normally such a self destructive and manipulative character would alienate viewers, but Will has made Bojack Horseman an unlikely animated hero.
3. TREY PARKER/CARTMAN
Cartman, the offensive beachball on South Park is known for delivering some of the greatest lines, and being involved in some of the best storylines of the long running series. It’s hard to believe that such an irritatingly hilarious character is voiced by anyone even remotely good looking. Trey Parker, co-creator of the series provides his voice, and based the character he created on a “tiny Archie Bunker”.
In real life, Trey Parker co-wrote the Tony award winning The Book of Mormon, which allowed him to explore his love of musicals. In the early ‘90s, he had created a musical about cannibalism, which turned into a cult classic. He also wrote and produced Team America: World Police. Clearly, he was always into creating controversial material to shock his audience.
2. BRITTANY MURPHY/LUANNE PLATTER
Everyone everywhere knows the name of actress Brittany Murphy, Her sudden and shocking death in 2009 deprived us of a bright star with a talent for really exceptional vocal work. Not everyone was aware that this promising actress provided the voice for Luanne Platter on King of the Hill for years. Luanne herself wasn’t bad to look at, but she wasn’t the looker that Brittany was. Aside from Luanne, she also starred in Happy Feet.
Most people know Brittany Murphy from her roles in Clueless, 8 Mile, Girl, Interrupted, The Dead Girl, and the movie that was released after her death, Something Wicked. She had a flair for comedic timing and whimsy, which she channeled into her vocal work while also making several serious films.
1. LACEY CHABERT/ELIZA THORNBERRY
Lacey Chabert got her big break on the ‘90s family drama Party of Five. Her voice is pretty instantly recognizable for being girlishly high-pitched despite her age. It was perfect for the role of Eliza Thornberry on The Wild Thornberries, and Zatanna Zatara in various DC comic animated series. She portrayed Meg Griffin in the first season of Family Guy.
To catch her in other live action roles, she played wise-cracking Penny in the Lost in Space movie, she was part of the popular clique of girls in Mean Girls, and continues to crank out tearjerkers for the Hallmark channel every couple of years. She’s even graced a few Maxim covers, which is no small feat for someone known primarily for their truly unique voice.
Which of these voice actors is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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