12 Real People Behind These Iconic Cartoon Character Voices

What would television be without its cartoons? Cartoon characters seem to live on forever because they become ingrained in our minds as we grow up and never leave us. However, there's a funny thing about cartoons. While you may be an avid fan who has seen every episode of a television show and can even do a spot on impression, you still may have no idea who the voice actor behind the character you know and love even is. Meanwhile, it's that very person behind the microphone who is helping to bring your favorite character to life in the first place. Crazy, right? But the struggle is all too real. Famous or not, there are real people behind these iconic cartoon character voices.

Yep, somebody actually is saying those famous lines such as, "What's up, Doc?" — shocking! These iconic cartoon characters don't just simply exist on their own. And now it's time that I assist you in putting a face to the voice. That way, when you pass one of these legendary voice actors on the street, you'll know that that is your moment to bust out your greatest impression and show them what you got. You also may never underestimate the power and talent of the greats again. Here are just 12 of the very real people who have brought cartoons to life.

1. Homer Simpson

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Talk about a successful voiceover career! For almost 30 years, Dan Castellaneta has voiced the donut-loving hero of Springfield. Now that is a career that should definitely not go unnoticed.

2. Scooby-Doo

Scott Innes is the voice actor to thank when it comes to your childhood spent solving mysteries with Scooby-Doo. With his work on the numerous movies and television show episodes, there's really no one better to play Scooby than him.

3. Charlie Brown

Voice actor Peter Robbins made quite a career for himself as the original voice of Peanuts' Charlie Brown from the age of just 9 years old to 13. Since then, the role has been handed off to other actors. The most recent voice actor to voice the classic character in 2015's The Peanuts Movie is breakout child actor, Noah Schnapp.

4. Popeye

In 1935, actor Jack Mercer began his career as the infamous comic strip character, Popeye the Sailor. However, since then, the character has been passed down to actors including William "Billy" Costello and even Robin Williams.

5. Garfield The Cat

Voice actor Lorenzo Music is the one you can credit for the lasagna-loving cat, having voiced him for Garfield and Friends from 1988-1994. However, after Music passed away, the role was given to actor Bill Murray for the 2004 Garfield movie.

6. Bugs Bunny

"What's Up, Doc?" wouldn't have been what it was in back in 1988 had it not been for the vocal talents of voice actor Mel Blanc. His voice is also responsible for the voices of Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, Porky Pug, and more.

7. Mickey Mouse

While Walt Disney himself is the creator of Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwin has to be the voice actor most popular for voicing the Disney figurehead. However, after Allwin passed away in 2009, the role was handed down to the mouse's current voice actor, Bret Iwan (pictured above).

9. Mario

The only person in this world who could genuinely say, "It's me, Mario!" is voice actor Charles Martinet. Martinet has been voicing the iconic Nintendo character — along with the voices of Luigi and Wario — since the very beginning. And he even attends Comic-Con with all of the fans! How cool is that?

10. Pikachu

When watching Pokémon as a kid, you probably haven't thought twice about who the actor who repeated the word "Pikachu" over and over again might have been. But that Pokémon is actually voiced by famed Japanese voice actress, Ikue Ohtani, which somehow makes Pikachu even cuter.

11. Arnold

Were you a '90s kid? If you were, odds are watching Hey Arnold! was a thing you definitely did with your free time. And, if not, then you may think about going back and watching it after seeing what the child voice actor, Lane Toran, who voiced Arnold looks like today. Yep, that's him. He's even recently returned to non-voiceover acting roles in Nashville and Satisfaction.

12. Spongebob

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Throughout Spongebob's 1999-2015 run — and even for the recent Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water — voice actor Tom Kenny voiced the sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea. He also was the voice of Spongebob's pet snail, Gary.

So, next time you tune in to your favorite cartoon, maybe give it an extra thought. That name rolling across the bottom of the screen isn't just some random person — it's the very voice behind what makes that character so great.